By TESA GLASS
MT. VERNON — —
During the first season firearm deer season, Jefferson County came in with the sixth-highest deer harvest totals in the state.
According to information from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Jefferson County had 1,540 deer taken during the first firearm season, up from 1,476 taken in the first firearm season last year.
A total of 72,000 deer were harvested during the first firearm deer season this year, an increase of more than 5,000 from last year, when 66,501 were taken.
The highest harvest of deer during the season was in Pike County, with 2,108 deer harvested; Fulton County had 2,048; Adams County with 1,938; Jo Daviess County at 1,877; and Randolph County with 1,665.
“Hunters enjoyed near perfect conditions during our first firearm weekend,” stated Paul Shelton, IDNR Forest Wildlife Program Manager. “Temperatures were cool, winds were calm, crops were out of the fields and rutting activity was ongoing. We hope hunters enjoyed their time in the field.”
About 60 percent of the deer taken during the first weekend of firearm hunting were bucks, compared with 61 percent bucks taken during the first firearm season in 2011.
Deer harvest totals for surrounding counties during the first firearm season this year were Franklin County with 907 deer, compared to 852 last year; Hamilton County with 841 deer, compared to 748 last year; Marion County, with 1,319 deer, compared to 1,218 last year; Washington County with 803 deer, compared to 754 last year; Wayne County at 1,188 deer, compared to 1,238 last year; and White County with 602 deer, compared to 606 last year.
Remaining deer hunting in Illinois include the second firearm hunting season held Nov. 29 through Dec. 2; the three-day muzzleloader-only deer season Dec. 7 through 9; and the seven-day split late-winter firearm antlerless-only deer season and special CWD deer season Dec. 27 through Dec. 30 and Jan. 18 through Jan. 20.
Additional information is available at www.dnr.illinois.gov/hunting/deer.