The Illinois Department of Natural Resources on Tuesday reported that hunters in Illinois harvested a preliminary total of 72,111 deer during the opening weekend of the 2012 Illinois Firearm Deer Season, Nov. 16-18. The second portion of the firearm season will be Nov. 29-Dec. 2.
The preliminary harvest total of 72,111 for the first three days of the 2012 firearm season compares with the first weekend harvest of 66,501 deer during the 2011 deer season. The top county harvest total last weekend was in Pike with 2,108 deer, followed by Fulton (2,048), Adams (1,938), Jo Daviess (1,877) and Randolph (1,665).
In BureauCounty, hunters harvested 1,014 deer last weekend, compared to 905 in the same season last year. In La Salle County, 887 deer were harvested this year, compared to 812 last year; Marshall County Hunters took down 597 deer, 36 more than last year; Putnam County hunters harvested 389 this year and 324 last year; and Lee County hunters shot 565 deer last weekend (509 in the same weekend last year).
For the entire seven-day firearm season in 2011, hunters harvested 98,820 deer.
“Hunters enjoyed near perfect conditions during our first firearm weekend,” said Paul Shelton, IDNR Forest Wildlife Program Manager. “Temperatures were cool, winds were calm, crops were out of the fields, and rutting activity was ongoing. We hope hunters enjoyed their time in the field.”
The IDNR has issued more than 334,000 firearm deer hunting permits so far for the 2012 season. For information on remaining permits, check the IDNR website at this link: www.dnr.illinois.gov/hunting/deer.