By The Associated Press
and NewsTribune staff
SPRINGFIELD,Ill.(AP) —Illinoisofficials say hunters in the state harvested about 180,700 deer during the 2012-13 seasons.
The Illinois Department of Natural Resources released the preliminary number on Friday. Deer hunting season ended last weekend inIllinois. The number is less than the approximately 181,500 deer that hunters took the previous year. The state’s record deer harvest was in 2005-2006 when hunters took more than 201,200 deer.
Locally, hunters harvested about 240 more deer overall, 2,498, inBureauCountythan last year, and harvested 2,448 deer inLa SalleCountycompared to 2,499 last year inLa SalleCounty, and harvested about the same number this year as last year in Lee,MarshallandPutnamCounties. The youth deer hunting season resulted in a marked increase in deer taken inBureauCountythis year (37) from last year (17).
Two of the topIllinoiscounties for deer harvesting were Fulton and Pike counties. Hunters took more than 5,700 deer in Fulton Countyand nearly 7,250 deer in Pike County.
“We hope Illinois deer hunters had an enjoyable time afield this year, and took advantage of the many hunting opportunities afforded them,” said Paul Shelton, IDNR’s Forest Wildlife Program Manager. “In the coming months, deer biologists will be reviewing all available data and making any needed program changes in order to ensure the continued well-being of Illinois’ deer herd for this and future generations.”
The 2012-13 Illinois Archery Deer Season concluded on Jan. 20, and hunters in Illinois took a preliminary total of 59,728 deer during the archery season (Oct. 1, 2012-Jan. 20, 2013), compared with the archery deer harvest of 61,974 in the 2011-12 season, according to the DNR.
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