by Todd Wineburner
Officials with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources say the state's most recent deer harvest produced good numbers for the state. IDNR spokesperson Tim Schweizer says numbers were down slightly compared to the 2011 season, but he says for deer management purposes, the final tally represented a good effort by state officials and hunters alike. Illinois does not set goals for deer hunting.
180,669 deer were harvested during all seaons, with the firearm season accounting for over half the total. Youth, archery, muzzleloader and chronic wasting disease seasons contributed the rest. Hunters in Pike county had the best outing, with 7,239 deer taken. Other top deer areas included Fulton, Adams, Jo Daviess, and Jefferson counties accouting for more than 4,000 animals.