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Record harvest by Illinois bowhunters: Leads way to higher overall deer harvest

For the second year, Illinois bowhunters set a record harvest which led a slight rise in overall deer harvest.

File photo scene from a deer blind during Illinois’ 2020-21 deer season. Credit: Dale Bowman
File photo scene from a deer blind during Illinois’ 2020-21 deer season.
Dale Bowman

As was anticipated weeks ago, Illinois bowhunters set a record harvest for the second year in a row. That’s the standout number. The overall harvest by Illinois deer hunters (162,575) was up for 2020-21, compared to153,174 in 2019-20.

Harvest during the archery season (75,544) nearly matched the harvest during the two traditional firearm seasons (76,579). Very interesting.

Here is the breakdown by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources:

Deer Hunting Seasons Conclude with Hunters in Illinois Taking Preliminary Total of 162,575 Deer

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Hunters in Illinois harvested a preliminary total of 162,575 deer during all 2020-21 archery and firearm seasons, which concluded Jan. 17, 2021. The total preliminary deer harvest for all seasons compares with a total harvest for all seasons of 153,174 deer in 2019-20.

During the 2020-21 deer seasons, hunters took 45.4 percent does and 54.6 percent males.

Archery: Archery deer hunters in Illinois took a preliminary total of 75,544 deer (new record) during the season which began on Oct. 1, 2020 and concluded on Jan. 17, 2021. The total archery harvest during the 2019-20 season was 67,743 deer.

Youth: Youth deer hunters harvested a preliminary total of 2,321 deer during the three-day Illinois Youth Deer Season (Oct. 10-12, 2020), compared to 3,774 in 2019.

Traditional Firearm Season: Hunters took a preliminary total of 76,579 deer during the Illinois Firearm Deer Season on Nov. 20-22, 2020 and Dec. 3-6, 2020, compared with 75,417 deer taken during the 2019 firearm season.

Muzzleloader: Hunters using muzzleloading rifles harvested a preliminary total of 3,447 deer during the Muzzleloader-Only Deer Season on Dec. 11-13, 2020, compared with harvest of 3,076 deer in the 2019 muzzleloader season.

Late-Winter Seasons: The 2020-21 Late-Winter Antlerless-Only and Special CWD deer seasons concluded on Jan. 17, 2021 with a combined preliminary harvest total for both seasons of 4,684 deer, compared with a harvest of 3,164 deer taken during those seasons in 2019-20. Season dates for the seven-day Late-Winter and CWD seasons were Dec. 31, 2020-Jan. 3, 2021 and Jan. 15-17, 2021.

There were 15 northern Illinois counties open to the Special CWD Season, which is used to assist in slowing the spread of chronic wasting disease in the Illinois deer herd.

There were 20 counties open for the Late-Winter Antlerless Season in 2020-21. Counties that are at or below their individual deer population goal for two consecutive years may be removed from the Late-Winter season.

For more information on Illinois deer harvest in recent years (prior to 2020-21), check the IDNR website at https://www2.illinois.gov/dnr/hunting/deer/Pages/AnnualDeerHarvestReports.aspx

The tables below provide a county-by-county summary of preliminary deer harvest results for 2020-21, and final 2019-20 harvest results for comparison.

2020-2021 Preliminary Deer Harvest

County Archery Youth Firearm Muzzleloader LW-CWD Total

Adams 1549 70 2223 107 0 3949

Alexander 224 12 423 27 0 686

Bond 495 19 664 19 0 1197

Boone 183 2 137 7 33 362

Brown 865 37 947 58 273 2180

Bureau 838 20 1001 49 0 1908

Calhoun 997 24 777 49 0 1847

Carroll 613 4 558 22 105 1302

Cass 745 19 652 28 0 1444

Champaign 429 15 230 16 0 690

Christian 583 23 608 32 0 1246

Clark 966 27 1070 57 0 2120

Clay 759 33 1217 35 134 2178

Clinton 674 18 685 28 0 1405

Coles 839 13 673 20 0 1545

Cook 191 0 0 0 0 191

Crawford 1094 20 932 24 108 2178

Cumberland 602 39 856 29 0 1526

DeKalb 217 2 113 6 27 365

DeWitt 631 10 365 19 0 1025

Douglas 226 9 163 7 0 405

DuPage 42 0 0 0 0 42

Edgar 589 11 542 31 0 1173

Edwards 331 8 383 17 0 739

Effingham 693 51 946 24 117 1831

Fayette 1226 32 1610 59 0 2927

Ford 63 2 123 5 0 193

Franklin 1352 29 1268 64 0 2713

Fulton 1714 54 1914 74 349 4105

Gallatin 352 12 423 15 0 802

Greene 1038 49 1066 53 0 2206

Grundy 370 7 252 10 71 710

Hamilton 1011 38 1065 47 189 2350

Hancock 1087 48 1778 94 0 3007

Hardin 461 8 684 37 0 1190

Henderson 411 12 454 14 75 966

Henry 583 16 448 23 0 1070

Iroquois 535 11 491 31 0 1068

Jackson 1394 61 2081 61 0 3597

Jasper 860 38 1076 49 0 2023

Jefferson 1949 63 1885 99 0 3996

Jersey 669 24 633 28 0 1354

JoDaviess 1213 28 1544 68 359 3212

Johnson 871 32 1318 41 0 2262

Kane 407 0 31 2 6 446

Kankakee 338 5 193 5 47 588

Kendall 215 0 78 3 25 321

Knox 1111 19 1136 43 188 2497

Lake 384 0 1 0 0 385

LaSalle 858 10 701 25 195 1789

Lawrence 599 11 562 36 0 1208

Lee 509 17 532 20 77 1155

Livingston 248 10 386 15 53 712

Logan 467 21 336 16 0 840

Macon 568 14 267 32 0 881

Macoupin 1296 25 1535 50 215 3121

Madison 1155 24 617 23 73 1892

Marion 1271 51 1472 60 221 3075

Marshall 432 20 592 26 0 1070

Mason 553 18 385 18 0 974

Massac 403 12 391 16 0 822

McDonough 655 16 765 48 119 1603

McHenry 664 5 291 17 66 1043

McLean 629 17 628 33 0 1307

Menard 514 6 382 25 0 927

Mercer 626 16 833 39 93 1607

Monroe 536 33 977 26 114 1686

Montgomery 932 31 811 33 0 1807

Morgan 685 19 627 26 0 1357

Moultrie 489 9 228 12 0 738

Ogle 767 14 680 22 182 1665

Peoria 1117 16 866 39 0 2038

Perry 1159 36 1254 63 376 2888

Piatt 287 5 133 11 0 436

Pike 2419 115 1871 140 0 4545

Pope 1049 27 1272 55 0 2403

Pulaski 300 19 284 13 0 616

Putnam 290 8 320 18 51 687

Randolph 1426 112 2244 111 0 3893

Richland 579 23 670 25 0 1297

Rock Island 681 8 693 29 120 1531

Saline 740 42 867 41 208 1898

Sangamon 1005 22 555 29 0 1611

Schuyler 1115 44 1283 59 0 2501

Scott 343 12 311 15 0 681

Shelby 1048 42 1240 51 150 2531

St. Clair 889 31 717 18 0 1655

Stark 145 5 182 8 0 340

Stephenson 555 12 614 21 0 1202

Tazewell 803 17 495 16 142 1473

Union 967 37 1236 62 0 2302

Vermilion 1179 15 555 36 0 1785

Wabash 267 4 164 16 0 451

Warren 319 6 471 18 0 814

Washington 700 20 959 36 0 1715

Wayne 1249 43 1441 75 0 2808

White 708 29 806 56 0 1599

Whiteside 579 14 606 22 0 1221

Will 829 10 250 23 61 1173

Williamson 1596 36 1639 57 0 3328

Winnebago 564 5 280 7 62 918

Woodford 792 33 586 23 0 1434

Total 75544 2321 76579 3447 4684 162575