DNR releases proposal to restrict doe harvest in five counties during archery season

The DNR estimates the new restriction will reduce doe harvest by 25 to 30 percent.

The Illinois DNR has released its proposal to change archery deer season regulations in five central Illinois counties.

The rule would create the “Illinois Restricted Archery Zone” covering Champaign, Douglas, Macon, Moultrie and Piatt counties.

Under the proposal, which is in the midst of a 45-day public comment period, only antlered deer may be harvested in the Restricted Archery Zone between Oct. 1-15. An antlered deer is defined as a deer having at least one antler of 3 or more inches.

“Deer populations in some of east-central Illinois counties are below goal in spite of significant reductions in gun permit quotas, and in some cases a declining population trend continues,” the DNR noted in a fact sheet on the proposal. The fact sheet estimates that Champaign County alone is 35 percent below DNR’s deer population goal.

The DNR estimates the new restriction will reduce doe harvest by 25 to 30 percent.

“After that (two-week) period, regulations for the remainder of the season would be the same as they’ve always been,” the DNR explained. “This should be enough of a reduction to move populations back toward goal. If it turns out that we need to reduce harvest more than that, we can simply adjust the number of days for which the restriction is in effect.”

A similar regulation was in effect for some of the same counties in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

To see the DNR’s complete fact sheet on the proposal, click here. To read more about the proposal, see the July 27 issue of Illinois Outdoor News.

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