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Illinois deer hunting: Firearm season harvest down from 2020 after 8,057 fewer deer in second segment

Illinois hunters harvested fewer deer in Illinois’ firearm season than in 2020 after a drop of 8,057 deer harvested in the second segment than in 2020.

A deer blind during the first segment of Illinois’ firearm deer season. Credit: Dale Bowman
A deer blind during the first segment of Illinois’ firearm deer season.
Dale Bowman

Illinois hunters harvested 5,485 fewer deer in the firearm season than in 2020 because hunters in the second segment harvested 8,057 fewer deer than in 2020. Harvest during the first se was 3,153 deer higher than in 2020.

Wish I could tell you some brilliant theory on why, but the weather, the first thing I always look at, was mostly unremarkable. The second segment, in terms of conditions, wasn’t any more abnormal than during the first segment.

I love hearing theories or good explanations for the harvest drop. If you got one, let me know.

Here are the key opening paragraphs from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources’ release on the breakdown of the season:

2021 Illinois firearm deer season preliminary harvest totals 71,675

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) today announced hunters took a preliminary total of 71,675 deer during the seven-day 2021 Illinois Firearm Deer Season that concluded Dec. 5. Hunters harvested a final total of 77,160 deer during the firearm season in 2020.

The preliminary harvest for the second segment of the 2021 firearm season Dec. 2-5 was 21,375, compared with 29,432 during the second season in 2020. The preliminary harvest for the first segment of this year’s firearm season Nov. 19-21 was 50,300 deer.

Click here to see the full release and the county-by-county breakdown.