Archery harvest down as Illinois deer hunting season ends

Well, the 2016-17 deer season has officially come to an end.

According to the Illinois DNR’s harvest site, a total of 53,677 deer were killed by bowhunters this season, which is down from last year’s harvest of 56,740.

There are instances when you’re more than happy to say goodbye and part ways. For me, the deer season isn’t one of those instances.

For example, the other day while my husband and I were checking our trail cameras, we passed by one of my new favorite treestands. I spoke out loud to an inanimate object, calling the treestand a friend and promising that we’d meet again.

Yep, the end of deer season leaves me with the daunting feeling of lacking purpose … and a little crazy. There will be no more reprieve from the mundane yet chaotic day-to-day. No more constructive excuses to escape the mayhem that so often tends to consume my life. This might sound a bit dramatic, but it’s how I perceive the end of deer season.

Perhaps, if not for an unfilled either-sex tag still tucked away in my hunting bag, I wouldn’t feel quite so bleak. But alas, I’m a firm believer that if something is meant to be, it will be, and if it isn’t, well, it won’t.

Unlike the past two seasons, I finagled a good amount of time to spend in the deer woods, my favorite place in the world. The last couple years, thanks to trail cams indicating that does are not exactly over-abundant in our deer woods, I’ve decided not to shoot a doe, and this season was no different. I’m hoping that restricting ourselves will start paying off, because truth be told, when it comes to putting meat in the freezer, give me doe over a buck in rut any day.

I had two missed opportunities at killing a huge buck in 2016, which can be read about a few issues back in Illinois Outdoor News. The only redeeming quality of these pain-staking debacles was that they came at no fault of my own — a rarity.

I suppose one thing is always certain: Hunting is full of surprises, calamities, excitement, challenges, disappointment, and even dangerous circumstances. But would we really have it any other way? As we say in the deer woods, “that’s hunting!”

Categories: Bloggers on Hunting, Illinois – Keri Butt, Whitetail Deer

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