Illinois deer hunting: Harvest in first firearm deer season drops below even last year

Illinois deer hunting: Harvest in first firearm deer season drops below even last year

File photo of a mounted deer head against the sky. | Dale Bowman

Harvest during the first firearm deer season in Illinois dropped below even that of last year.

I will admit I am surprised, but harvest during Illinois’ first firearm deer season dropped below even that of first season last year.

Weather on opening day Friday was good, maybe too good, statewide. Saturday and Sunday were wetter and cooler. But on the other hand, harvest of soybeans and corn both were complete statewide, quite unlike last year when crops in the fields were a factor.

The other factor is the harvest by bowhunters is on a pace to easily set yet another record. Click here for that update.

Here is the word on first firearm deer season from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources:

Hunters Harvested 47,147 Deer During Opening Weekend of Illinois Firearm Season

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Hunters in Illinois harvested a preliminary total of 47,147 deer during the first weekend of the Illinois Firearm Deer Season Nov. 20-22 compared with 50,173 deer taken during the first firearm weekend in 2019. Illinois’ seven-day Firearm Deer Season will conclude Dec. 3-6.

Other deer hunting opportunities in the weeks ahead include:

• Muzzleloader-Only Deer Season, Dec. 11-13;

• Late-Winter Antlerless-Only Dec. 31, 2020 – Jan. 3, 2021 and Jan. 15-17, 2021;

• CWD Deer Season (in select counties only), Dec. 31, 2020 – Jan. 3, 2021 and Jan. 15-17, 2021; and

• Archery Deer Season continues through Jan. 17. 2021 (archery deer hunting is closed Dec. 3-6 in counties open for Firearm Deer Season).

For more details on deer hunting, open counties, and other information, check the Illinois Department of Natural Resources website at https://www.dnr.illinois.gov/hunting/Pages/DeerHunting.aspx

A table of preliminary Illinois firearm deer harvest totals by county for the first weekend of the 2020 season, and comparable totals for 2019, is below.

County 2019 2020
ADAMS 1437 1301
ALEXANDER 311 257
BOND 500 426
BOONE 71 79
BROWN 604 557
BUREAU 622 635
CALHOUN 494 360
CARROLL 432 351
CASS 380 384
CHAMPAIGN 133 162
CHRISTIAN 372 419
CLARK 694 622
CLAY 774 728
CLINTON 453 474
COLES 417 443
CRAWFORD 562 554
CUMBERLAND 511 542
DEKALB 80 77
DEWITT 206 220
DOUGLAS 88 115
EDGAR 346 329
EDWARDS 219 227
EFFINGHAM 597 611
FAYETTE 1004 980
FORD 73 79
FRANKLIN 853 743
FULTON 1243 1193
GALLATIN 249 232
GREENE 632 632
GRUNDY 194 148
HAMILTON 717 657
HANCOCK 1032 1052
HARDIN 602 419
HENDERSON 264 307
HENRY 254 290
IROQUOIS 339 321
JACKSON 1422 1227
JASPER 667 691
JEFFERSON 1251 1080
JERSEY 401 350
JODAVIESS 1005 1027
JOHNSON 1026 857
KANE 18 17
KANKAKEE 132 123
KENDALL 53 57
KNOX 704 682
LAKE 5 0
LASALLE 469 465
LAWRENCE 348 334
LEE 311 334
LIVINGSTON 275 279
LOGAN 251 198
MACON 149 158
MACOUPIN 1025 987
MADISON 442 379
MARION 995 910
MARSHALL 402 407
MASON 235 256
MASSAC 261 219
MCDONOUGH 461 452
MCHENRY 170 170
MCLEAN 347 409
MENARD 236 211
MERCER 521 532
MONROE 699 667
MONTGOMERY 540 520
MORGAN 401 375
MOULTRIE 156 142
OGLE 436 437
PEORIA 571 539
PERRY 882 716
PIATT 83 89
PIKE 1174 1029
POPE 1064 884
PULASKI 209 177
PUTNAM 250 207
RANDOLPH 1553 1340
RICHLAND 431 397
ROCK ISLAND 415 461
SALINE 602 534
SANGAMON 329 326
SCHUYLER 800 757
SCOTT 197 176
SHELBY 757 824
STARK 94 125
ST. CLAIR 478 474
STEPHENSON 365 405
TAZEWELL 339 314
UNION 913 772
VERMILION 323 329
WABASH 105 101
WARREN 303 292
WASHINGTON 640 599
WAYNE 943 861
WHITE 456 465
WHITESIDE 373 420
WILL 160 148
WILLIAMSON 1220 943
WINNEBAGO 173 193
WOODFORD 398 372
Total 50173 47147

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