IL: Deer hunters start new season in a sprint

Springfield — One consistent refrain was heard from archery
hunters up and down Illinois after opening week of the 2010 deer

The deer are moving. Were moving. Are moving, again.

A cool snap met hunters on the Oct. 1 opener and continued through
the first five days. Many hunters apparently “got while the getting
was good.”

According to Paul Shelton, DNR’s wildlife program manager, a total
of 5,304 deer were harvested in the first three days, a sizeable
increase over the 4,186 take to open the 2009 bowhunting season.
Going back even farther, the three-day harvest was 3,577 in 2008;
2,158 in 2007; 3,323 in 2006 and 4,245 in 2005.

During the first three days of 2010, harvest sex ratios were 72.3
percent does to 27.7 percent male, Shelton said.

“Keep in mind that some of the years being compared to do not
contain any weekend days, which means you’re comparing apples to
oranges,” he added.

By Oct. 8, signaling an entire week, the harvest number was nearing
the 8,000 mark.

The fact that hunters seemed to be seeing more deer is credited to
the weather. DNR maintains the herd itself has remained mostly

DNR has seen “No data which would cause us to believe the herd has
fallen significantly below the 750,000 to 800,000 estimates of the
recent past,” Deer Program Manager Tom Micetich said.

Bowhunters harvested a total of 64,822 deer in 2009, down slightly
from the 64,920 harvested in 2008.

In other deer hunting news:

Archery permits available

Illinois resident deer hunters can still purchase 2010 Illinois
archery deer hunting permits (combination archery and
antlerless-only archery permits) over-the-counter from DNR Direct
permit sale locations throughout the state.

Non-resident hunters can also purchase antlerless-only archery
permits throughout the season. The archery deer season continues
through Jan. 16, 2011.

Firearms deer permits

DNR announced earlier this month that resident and non-resident
Illinois firearms and muzzleloader deer permits for the 2010 season
will be available over-the-counter beginning Oct. 19 on a
first-come, first-served basis. The permits will be available until
quotas are exhausted or until the close of the firearms deer
season, whichever occurs first.

CWD sampling

Again this deer season, DNR is asking deer hunters in Boone, Cook,
DeKalb, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kendall, Lake, LaSalle, McHenry,
Ogle, Stephenson and Winnebago counties to participate in chronic
wasting disease testing from adult deer they harvest.

Hunters who participate in the CWD sampling may leave the heads
from adult deer for testing at several drop-off sites. Hunters
should remove the deer head, leaving the two vertebrae nearest the
skull attached. The head should be placed in a heavy-grade plastic
bag and kept cool until the hunter delivers it to the drop-off
site. The head should be stored on ice or refrigerated, but not
frozen. Tissue samples cannot be taken from deer heads refrigerated
more than three days. Test results will be posted on the DNR
website at

Late-winter applications

Hunters may apply online from Oct. 26-Nov. 22 for site-specific
permits for designated DNR special hunt areas for the late-winter
firearms deer hunt. The online application system is available
through the DNR website at

A list of special hunt areas open only to hunters with
site-specific late-winter season permits is available at the DNR
web site. Permits for these sites are limited and will only be
available through the online application from Oct. 26-Nov. 22.
Hunters may submit only one online special hunt area application.
Unfilled 2010 site-specific firearms, muzzleloader or youth permits
for these sites are not valid during this season.

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