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Illinois deer bowhunters on near-record pace

As befits the arrival of the rut, for the first time this year, bucks have surpassed does by harvest ratio in the weekly harvest report for Illinois bowhunters. Through Sunday, bowhunters harvested 27,676 deer. The only year higher for the same period was 2006 with 27,949.

Here’s the word from forest wildlife program manager Paul Shelton:

Preliminary archery deer harvest totals through Sunday, November 1 stand at 27676, compared to previous year totals of 24737 (2008), 24168 (2007), 27949 (2006), and 29330 (2005). Continuing rains during the week depressed harvest until the weekend – as a result, daily harvest rates during the period Monday-Friday were only 473 deer/day, down significantly from the average weekday harvest of 791 deer/day during the same period in the previous four years. Top 5 counties are Pike (1440), Fulton (753), Jefferson (677), Peoria (637), and LaSalle (596).

Harvest sex ratios continued to shift this week, with buck harvest exceeding doe harvest for the first time. Sex ratios for the week were 47.7% does to 52.3% bucks. Overall sex ratios to date are 63.2% does: 36.8% bucks.