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Illinois Department of Natural Resources

Hunters in Illinois harvested a preliminary total of 77,051 deer during the opening weekend of the state's 2005 firearm deer season, Nov. 18-20, Illinois Department of Natural Resources Director Joel Brunsvold announced today. The second portion of the firearm season is Dec. 1-4.

The preliminary total for the first three days of the 2005 firearm season represents a 4 percent increase compared with the first weekend harvest of 73,819 in 2004. The preliminary first-season figures reported for each county include those deer taken on special hunt areas within that county as well as on private land.

"Deer hunters have had a very successful first segment of this year's firearm deer season," said Brunsvold. "The new check-in system using the IDNR web site or a toll-free telephone call to register deer appears to have worked well. Illinois enjoys a nationwide reputation for having an outstanding, quality deer herd. The seven-day firearm season is our most popular hunting season and we're looking forward to another good weekend when hunters take to the field again in early December."

For the first time in Illinois, hunters in most counties registered the deer they harvested by going online or by phoning 1-866-ILCHECK (1-866-452-4325) by 10 p.m. on the day of harvest. About 33,000 deer were reported on the first day of the season, with peak use of the system occurring early Friday evening when more than 4,000 deer per hour were registered. Hunters in seven northern Illinois counties where IDNR provided chronic wasting disease sampling took deer they harvested to county check stations.

"Weather conditions were good for the first weekend of firearm deer hunting and hunters obviously saw a lot of deer," said IDNR Forest Wildlife Program Manager Paul Shelton. "We appreciate the support of hunters in participating in our deer seasons, and in cooperating with the new system for checking in their deer."

Illinois issued more than 320,000 deer hunting permits for the 2005 firearm season, including free landowner and paid landowner permits.

The table below provides preliminary county harvest totals for the first segment of the firearm season and comparable figures for the first season in 2004.
 

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Two weeks ago, from what I saw and was told by friends in other counties, the deer in So IL weren't moving too well after daylight, drives were the most effective method. In Central IL. they were moving fairly well, nothing to get excited over though.

Talked to my buddy I hunted with two weeks ago today and he said the deer are moving like crazy, bucks chasing does etc. lots of shots being heard, should be a real good harvest.
 
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