IL: Gun hunt produces expected numbers

Springfield – Almost true to script, the second firearms deer hunting season ended with absolutely no surprises.

Unless you count a 30-point doe as unexpected.

Yes, included in the 31,259 deer taken during the Dec. 1-4 season was a doe – a deer, a female deer – that had a prickly set up antlers.

Otherwise, the second season count was an increase compared to the 30,907 taken during the second season in 2010. In total, 97,760 deer were killed during the seven-day firearms deer season this year, 1,200 or so short of the 98,944 mark of 2010.

"The first two days of the second season provided excellent hunting conditions, and harvest totals on those days reflected that," DNR Forest Wildlife Program Manager Paul Shelton said, summarizing the 2011 gun season. "Steady rain was the story of the day on Saturday [Dec. 3] in the north and west, and on Sunday [Dec. 4] in the south and east."

Shelton said that the weather conditions may have depressed harvest somewhat on those particular days. He pointed out that the total deer harvest could be beefed up by the Dec. 9-12 muzzleloader season and the late winter and special CWD seasons later this winter.

The seven-day split late-winter firearms antlerless-only deer season and special CWD deer season are Dec. 29 – Jan. 1, 2012, and Jan. 13-15, 2012.

Archery season wraps up Jan. 15, 2012.

As for firearms season, this year's first weekend (Nov. 18-20) saw a kill of 66,501 deer, compared with a first-season harvest of 68,037 in 2010.

According to DNR statistics, the top five counties during the two firearms seasons were Pike (2,958), Fulton (2,581), Adams (2,393), Jefferson (2,314), and JoDaviess (2,267).

Hunter bags odd 30-pointer

According to media reports out of West Salem, Richard Lomas killed a 30-point female deer on Dec. 2.

Lomas told reporters that he shot the deer near Mount Erie. The deer was believed to be about 41⁄2 years old.

"I would say that's the biggest, baddest doe ever taken in Illinois," Tim Walmsley, a respected Illinois measurer and author of Trophy Whitetails of Illinois, told Heartlandoutdoors.com

Categories: Firearms, News Archive

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