Report says Illinois spent more than $1 million monitoring CWD in deer herd during 2016

With a little over a week left in the Illinois deer season – the archery and late-winter seasons end Jan. 15 – it looks like hunters will not match last year’s harvest total.

Through Jan. 3, bowhunters had taken 51,390 deer, which is behind pace to reach last year’s harvest of 56,767. Shotgun hunters in the fall took 8.5 percent fewer deer than in 2015. Of course, we’ll have a better idea of the total harvest once the seasons wrap up and final counts are in. But the overall sense is that it has been a disappointing year for deer hunters.

Until then, I wanted to share some interesting information I learned by reading an Illinois News Network report yesterday. The INN took a look at the special chronic wasting disease deer season, which is held in a dozen or so counties and also ends Jan. 15. In the INN report, Doug Dufford, Department of Natural Resources wildlife disease program manager, noted that it cost Illinois more than $1 million to monitor and track CWD in 2016.

Dufford told INN it is a worthwhile investment, saying, “We view it as a million dollars – a million and a half dollars – spent to protect a billion-dollar resource. Right now, the funding seems adequate for what we can do and have been doing.”

The question is, with our state in such a financial crisis, is spending a million bucks on CWD worth it?
Categories: CWD, Firearms, Illinois – Keri Butt, Whitetail Deer

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