Deer hunters in Illinois harvested a preliminary total of 86,771 deer during the seven-day 2015 Firearm Deer Season, according the the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. That figure compares to 76,575 deer harvested during the seven days of firearm season in 2014. Preliminary harvest figures for the second segment of the firearm season on Dec. 3-6 totaled 28,803, compared with 24,745 during the second season in 2014. The preliminary harvest total for the first segment of firearm season on Nov. 20-22 was 57,968 deer, compared with the 51,830 deer taken by hunters during the first season in 2014. Although Illinois hunters took roughly 10,000 more deer than last year, local harvest totals were down significantly in some Northern Illinois counties — Will County hunters took 60 fewer deer than last year (275 compared to 335 in 2014).
Even though the muzzleloader-only season was last weekend, deer hunting opportunities remain in Illinois this fall and early winter.
- The first Late-Winter Antlerless-Only and CWD Deer Seasons (in designated counties only) will be Dec. 31, 2015-Jan. 3, 2016.
- The second Late-Winter Antlerless-Only and CWD Deer Seasons (in designated counties only) will be Jan. 15-17, 2016.
- Archery Deer Season continues through Jan. 17, 2016. Archery hunters with valid archery deer tags can now use a crossbow through the end of season.
Check the IDNR website or regulation book for specific laws regarding deer hunting.
The full firearm deer harvest totals by county can be found here at www.dnr.illinois.gov.
For more stories and photos from the Illinois deer season, as well as some great venison recipes, visit DanStefOutdoors.com.