If you got a deer this year, you’re ahead of many of the folks out hunting Bambi through the woods.

Lousy weather and other factors brought the number of deer taken in the 2013 firearm deer season down almost 25%.

Chicago Now has the numbers:

Kyle Stefanich dropped this buck on the opening day of the 2013 Illinois Firearm Deer Season. Photo and caption via Chicago Now.

Firearm deer hunters in Illinois took a preliminary total of 74,191 deer during the seven-day firearm deer season on Nov. 22-24 and Dec. 5-8, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) announced today.  This year’s preliminary firearm season harvest total compares with the 99,546 deer taken during the 2012 firearm season.

The preliminary second-season (Dec. 5-8) harvest total was 18,483, compared with the 27,213 deer taken by hunters during the second segment of the season last year. This year’s preliminary first-season (Nov. 22-24) deer harvest was 55,708, compared with a first-season harvest of 72,111 in 2012.  The preliminary harvest totals include deer taken in all counties in which firearm deer hunting is permitted, as well as at Chain O’Lakes State Park in Lake County.

During the second segment of the firearm season (Dec. 5-8), opening day saw falling temperatures and gusty winds throughout the state, and southern Illinois saw rain/freezing rain turning to snow that continued through Friday with substantial accumulations.  Frigid temperatures persisted Friday and Saturday, with single-digit lows throughout the state on Saturday and highs that reached 20 degrees only in the south.  Temperatures increased slightly on Sunday, with snow falling through much of the day in northern Illinois.  Windy conditions prevailed throughout much of the season.

“Clearly this year’s preliminary firearm harvest numbers are below previous seasons, and while bad weather conditions throughout the state played a role, it cannot be the only factor.  Once all deer seasons are complete, our biologists will evaluate deer management goals on a county by county basis to achieve stability in our deer herd,” said IDNR Director Marc Miller.

4 thoughts on “Deer hunter success down sharply this year”
  1. Cold and windy weather in central IL discouraged many hunters in both the first and second seasons. Also, we heard far less shooting this season, as compared to prior years.

  2. Talking to body shop owners, deer hits down considerably. Low population is also attributed to blue tongue syndrom. Many dead deer found along creeks and near waterways. They head for water to soak and cool fever. Good that hi body temp takes them before starvation.
    Thanks for this site John. Dan, N.W. Illinois

  3. Heard from an inside source that the auto insurance companies have played a huge hand in contributing to the culling efforts by the dnr in our state to reduce the number of collisions. You know the “legal poaching” they get to do. …223…two am over bait in the forest preserve. Seems they like to say it’s too reduce numbers to prevent disease when the truth may be closer to these insurance companies are paying them to do it! The locker that does my deer dropped from an avg of 500 deer processed normally to less than 200 this year. It’s like that state wide. The owner of this locker clued me into this “conspiracy”… as he has friends affiliated with the culling efforts that relayed this to him. ….hmmmmm

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