DNR to "examine" deer management program

DNR announced today that it is taking a close look at its deer programs. More specifically, the agency is "examining its deer management program to determine if modifications are needed to hunting seasons and regulations."

Also getting a closer look are programs in northern Illinois counties aimed at controlling CWD. Those culling programs – specifically the sharpshooting programs – have been at the center of controversy in recent weeks.

According to a statement released by DNR, this self-impoised review of its deer management program follows recommendations set forth by the state’s Joint Legislative Task Force on Deer Population Control, which was formed in 2008 and has since been disbanded. 

"Among the task force recommendations was a statewide 14 percent reduction in the deer herd (as indicated by the rate of deer/vehicle accidents), with specific county goals identified," DNR's statement reads.  "DNR expanded the Late-Winter Deer Season and made available additional permits in some counties beginning in 2009 to encourage hunters to harvest additional surplus deer.  The statewide accident rate is very close to the identified goal, although some counties still remain higher than desired.

"DNR will be conducting an analysis of deer programs during the coming months and will provide opportunity for public comment on management goals."

Read more about DNR's most recent moves on the deer management program in the April 6 issue of Illinois Outdoor News

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