Overall deer harvest by Illinois hunters jumps nearly 8 percent

Illinois hunters harvested 158,010 deer during all 2022-23 firearm and archery seasons, up from 146,438 in ‘21-22.

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Roy Domazlicky takes tissue samples from a deer checked in the first portion of the firearm deer season in last November at the Kendall County check station.

Roy Domazlicky takes tissue samples from a deer checked in the first portion of the firearm deer season in last November at the Kendall County check station.

Dale Bowman

I haven’t had time sort through the overall meaning of Illinois hunters harvesting nearly 8% more deer during the 2022-23 seasons than during the ‘21-22 seasons, but I suspect one takeaway will be the weather was passable or at least not prohibitively bad at important times.

Here is the release from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources:

Illinois hunters harvest more than 158,000 deer during 2022-2023 seasons

SPRINGFIELD – Hunters in Illinois harvested a preliminary total of 158,010 deer during all 2022-2023 archery and firearm seasons that concluded Jan. 15. The total preliminary deer harvest for all seasons compares with a total harvest of 146,438 deer for all seasons in 2021-2022.

During the 2022-2023 deer seasons, hunters took 45.04% females and 54.96% males.

Totals from specific seasons:

Archery deer hunters took a preliminary total of 69,557 deer during the season that began Oct. 1 and concluded Jan. 15. The total archery harvest during the 2021-2022 season was 66,630 deer.

Youth deer hunters harvested a preliminary total of 3,339 deer during the three-day Illinois youth deer season Oct. 8-10, compared to 1,847 in 2021.

Traditional firearm season hunters took a preliminary total of 76,854 deer during the firearm season Nov. 18-20 and Dec. 1-4. This compares to a harvest of 70,456 deer taken during the 2021 firearm season.

Muzzleloader hunters harvested a preliminary total of 2,856 deer during the muzzleloader-only season Dec. 9-11, compared with a harvest of 3,046 deer during the 2021 muzzleloader season.

Late-winter seasons: The 2022-2023 late-winter anterless-only and special chronic wasting disease (CWD) deer seasons concluded Jan. 15 with a combined preliminary harvest total for both seasons of 5,404 deer. Season dates for the seven-day late-winter and CWD seasons were Dec. 29-Jan. 1 and Jan. 13-15. During the same seasons in 2021-2022, a total of 4,504 deer were taken.

Sixteen northern Illinois counties were open to the special CWD season, which is used to assist in slowing the spread of chronic wasting disease in the Illinois deer herd. And 24 counties were open for the late-winter antlerless season in 2022-2023. Counties that are at or below their individual deer population goal for two consecutive years may be removed from the late-winter season.

If I find the county by county breakdown, I will add it.

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