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Bowhunters in Illinois harvested 6,187 fewer deer in October than in October last year

Something is changing in Illinois deer hunting, at least in the significant drop in harvest by bowhunters in October — 6,187 — as compared with October 2020.

A file photo of a deer stand during archery season in Illinois. Credit: Dale Bowman
A file photo of a deer stand during archery season in Illinois.
Dale Bowman

Deer harvest by Illinois bowhunters dropped significantly, down 6,187, in October when compared with October, 2020.

At least some of it is probably related to people getting back to more normal lives as we live with the pandemic and the numbers being skewed upward last October.

But, I will be curious if that big drop will continue as we go through the heart of the rut the next couple weekends with good weather forecasts.

Here are more details from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources’ director of communications Jayette Bolinski:


Through Sunday, October 31, 2021, Illinois archery deer hunters harvested a preliminary total of 20,637 deer, compared to 26,824 for the same period in 2020. The October archery deer harvest in 2018 was 20,323 and in 2019 was 20,618.

The top five counties for October 2021 preliminary harvest were Pike (671), Jefferson (540), Fulton (504), Macoupin (427), and Adams (421).

County harvest numbers are attached.

2021_October_FinalBow (1).pdf