SPRINGFIELD -- Despite windy weather that made for challenging hunting conditions, Illinois hunters killed 66,501 deer during last week's first weekend of firearm deer season
SPRINGFIELD -- Despite windy weather that made for challenging hunting conditions, Illinois hunters killed 66,501 deer during last week's first weekend of firearm deer season.
The first weekend’s preliminary total compares favorably with 68,037 deer killed during the first weekend in 2010 and 66,126 in 2009. The total number of deer taken during the entire seven-day firearm season in 2010 was 98,944.
Pike County hunters registered the most deer killed with 1,917. Adams County was next with 1,784, following by Fulton (1,775), JoDaviess (1,664) and Jefferson (1,496).
Sangamon County hunters killed 524 deer.
The seven-day firearm season is the state’s most popular, with more than 330,000 deer permits sold. The second segment will be held Dec. 1-4.
Illinois Department of Natural Resources forest wildlife program manager Paul Shelton said windy conditions were a challenge, but otherwise, hunters enjoyed fairly typical fall weather.
Illinois Conservation Police officers conducted license and permit checks during the first weekend. Officers issued 547 citations for wildlife code violations and 630 written warnings.
Hunters statewide must register their deer by 10 p.m. the day of harvest by calling (866) 452-4325.
However, hunters in Boone, DeKalb, Grundy, Jo Daviess, Kane, LaSalle, McHenry, Ogle, Stephenson and Winnebago counties must take their deer to county check stations by 8 p.m. on the day of harvest. DNR is collecting samples to look for instances of chronic wasting disease in these counties.
Other deer-hunting opportunities remain.
*The muzzleloader-only deer season is Dec. 9-11.
*The late-winter antlerless-only firearm deer season and the CWD deer season are Dec. 29 -Jan. 1 and Jan. 13-15.
*Archery deer season is open through Jan. 15.
Chris Young can be reached at (217) 788-1528.