Heartland Outdoors: Scattershooting

Illinois deer harvest 3rd lowest since 1999

Tuesday, January 23

Crossbows appear to have made a significant difference in the Illinois archery season. Preliminary figures show Illinois bowhunters shot 58,156 deer in the 2017-18 season – 4,472 more than last year and the highest total since 59,805 deer in 2012-13.

Pike County led the state with 2,072 deer harvested, followed by: 2. Fulton 1,625; 3. Adams 1,275; 4. Williamson 1,173; and 5. Jackson 1,139.

That archery harvest, combined with the various firearm season, brings the overall kill total for the year to 147,535. That’s above last year’s total of 144,303, but ranks as the third-lowest overall harvest since 1999.

Here is a recap of deer seasons.

Youth – Youth deer hunters shot a preliminary total of 2,372 deer during the Oct. 7-9 Youth Deer Season, compared to 3,259 in 2016. Of those, 51.5 percent were bucks.

Top-five counties were Pike (115), Adams (90), Randolph (88), Jefferson (76) and Jackson (67).

Shotgun –  Hunters shot a preliminary total of 80,021 deer during the seven-day Illinois Firearm Deer Season that concluded on Dec. 3. That’s slightly above last year’s total of 79,559. The breakdown showed 51,365 deer shot Nov. 17-19 and 28,656 from Nov. 30 to Dec. 3.

Top-five counties were Randolph (2,405), Jackson (2,303), Adams (2,179), Jefferson (2,083), Fulton (1,997), Pike (1,990), Fayette (1,544),  Franklin (1,350)

Muzzleloader – During the Dec. 8-10 Muzzleloader Deer Season , Illinois hunters shota preliminary total of 3,700 whitetails, compared to 3,308 in 2016. Of those, 45 percent were bucks. Top-five counties were Pike (168), Adams (120), Jefferson (112), Randolph (103) and Fulton (102).

Late-winter/CWD – Hunters shot a combined total of 3,505 deer for both late-winter/CWD seasons (Dec. 28-31 and Jan. 12-14), compared with a harvest of 4,696 in 2016-17. 

This year, 15 counties were open to the Special CWD Season, and 22 counties were open to Late Winter Deer Hunting.

Top five counties were JoDaviess (318), Perry (290), Fulton (269), Schuyler (205) and Brown (203).

HeartlandOutdoors.com is owned by Lampe Publications LLC. Heartland Outdoors is a registered trademark.
Heartland Outdoors, P.O. Box 745, Elmwood, IL 61529
Copyright © 2010 Heartland Outdoors. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.