SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA) — The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) reported that Illinois hunters harvested a total of 158,010 deer in the 2022-2023 archery and firearm season, over 10,000 more than the previous season.
In the 2021-2022 season, Illinois hunters harvested a total of 146,438 deer.
The season began on Oct. 1, 2022 and concluded on Jan. 15, 2023. IDNR said that the total number of deer Illinois hunters took in includes about 45% females and 55% males.
IDNR also shared more details on the specific seasons. They said that Illinois hunters took a preliminary total of 69,557 deer archery deer season, compared to a total of 66,630 deer in 2021-2022.
Additionally, IDNR reported that youth deer hunters harvested a preliminary total of 3,339 deer during the three-day Illinois youth deer season on Oct. 8-10, 2022. This is compared to 1,847 deer harvested by youth deer hunters in 2021.
Traditional firearm season hunters took a preliminary total of 76,854 deer during the firearm season on Nov. 18-20 and Dec. 1-4, 2022. Only 70,456 deer harvested by Illinois firearm hunters in the 2021 season. Additionally, IDNR said muzzleloader hunters harvested a preliminary total of 2,856 deer during the muzzleloader-only season on Dec. 9-11. This is compared to the 3,046 deer harvested during the 2021 muzzleloader season.
IDNR said the 2022-2023 late-winter antlerless-only and special chronic wasting disease (CWD) deer seasons resulted in a total of 5,404 deer harvested for both seasons on Dec. 29-Jan. 1 and Jan. 13-15, 2023. A total of 4,504 deer were taken during the same seasons in 2021-2022.
Sixteen northern Illinois counties were open to the special CWD season, which is used to assist in slowing the spread of chronic wasting disease in the Illinois deer herd. IDNR said a total of 24 counties were open for the late-winter antlerless season in 2022-2023.
Additionally, IDNR said that counties that are at or below their individual deer population goal for two consecutive years may be removed from the late-winter season.