Rockford's Independent Newspaper

Illinois bow hunters bagging more deer

By Benjamin Yount 
Illinois News Network

Archery deer season started just a few months ago and so far, this season’s harvest is a clear sign that Illinois is one of the best deer hunting destinations in the Midwest.

Ed Cross, director of communications for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, said as of January 2, bow hunters in the state harvested 55,724 deer.

That number is up from this time last year when archery hunters harvested almost 51,000, according to Cross.

In total, 45 percent of the harvest has been does and 55 percent have been males.

Hunters in some counties had more luck tracking down deer than others, with Pike, Futon, Jefferson, Adams, and Williamson counties having the most harvests thus far.

Cross said this season’s successful harvest is a trend that is expected to continue next season.

“Judging by this year’s numbers, many hunters have had plenty of success with deer hunting and we anticipate that being a trend for next year as well,” Cross said.

“Illinois does have a very healthy deer population. When you look at some of our surrounding states, we feel we are right in line with some of the best deer in the country.”

Cross said archery hunting is a family sport in Illinois.

“We see a lot of older hunters taking out the younger generations to get them introduced to the sport, and we see younger generations get hooked on it,” Cross said.

Archery deer season ends on Jan. 14.

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