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Hunters take more deer statewide in 2017-18

Hunters in Illinois bagged more deer this archery and firearm season than the previous year, although numbers were down in La Salle and Livingston counties. 
In total, hunters took in 147,535 deer statewide during all archery and firearm seasons, which concluded on Jan. 14. The preliminary deer totals for all seasons in 2016-17 was 144,303.
In La Salle County, 1,502 deer total were taken, compared to 1,640 the previous year. In Livingston County, 634 deer were taken, compared to 657. Of La Salle County's neighbors, Bureau and Marshall counties were the only ones to see increases in deer harvests.
During the 2017-18 deer seasons, hunters took 44 percent does and 56 percent males statewide.
Archery: Archery deer hunters in Illinois took a preliminary total of 57,937 deer during the season, which began on Oct. 1, and concluded on Jan. 14. That compares with the harvest of 53,468 during the 2016-17 archery season. In La Salle County, archery numbers were down to 651 from 687 the previous season. Livingston County numbers were up to 210 from 191.

Youths: Young deer hunters took a preliminary total of 2,372 deer during the three-day Illinois Youth Deer Season (Oct. 7-9), compared to 3,272 in 2016. In La Salle County, youths took three fewer deer in 2017-18 for a total of 25. That number also was down six in Livingston County.

Traditional Firearm Season: Hunters took a preliminary total of 80,021 deer during the Illinois Firearm Deer Season on Nov. 17-19, and Nov. 30-Dec. 3, compared with 79,559 deer taken during the 2016 firearm season. That number was down to 691 in 2017-18 from 745 the previous year in La Salle County. It was down to 379 from 400 in Livingston County.

Muzzleloader: Hunters using muzzleloading rifles harvested 3,700 deer during the Muzzleloader-Only Deer Season on Dec. 8-10, compared with a harvest of 3,308 in the 2016 muzzleloader season. Totals were down in La Salle County from 34 to 20 deer, and from 16 to five in Livingston County.

Late-Winter Seasons: The 2017-18 Late-Winter Antlerless-Only and Special CWD deer seasons concluded on Jan. 14, with a combined preliminary harvest total for both seasons of 3,505 deer, compared with a harvest of 4,696 deer taken during those seasons in 2016-17. Season dates for the seven-day Late-Winter and CWD seasons were Dec. 28-31 and Jan. 12-14. 
There were 15 northern Illinois counties open to the Special CWD Season in 2017-18, while 14 counties were open for the 2016-17 seasons. The Special CWD season is used to assist in slowing the spread of chronic wasting disease in the Illinois deer herd.
There were 22 counties open for the Late-Winter Antlerless Season in 2017-18, which is two fewer counties than were open for the Late-Winter season in 2016-17. Counties that are at or below their individual deer population goal for two consecutive years may be removed from the Late-Winter season.
The late-winter and CWD season total was 118 deer in 2017-18 in La Salle County and 32 in Livingston County. That figure is down in La Salle County by 31 and in Livingston County by four.
By the numbers 
Total deer taken in 2017-18 (compared to 2016-17):
  • Bureau: 1,733 (1,729)
  • La Salle: 1,502 (1,640)
  • Woodford: 1,216 (1,125)
  • Lee: 997 (1,044)
  • Marshall: 946 (940)
  • Grundy: 678 (681)
  • Livingston: 634 (657)
  • Putnam: 614 (652)
  • Kendall: 285 (297)
  • DeKalb: 283 (353)

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