DECATUR, Ill. (WCIA)– Deer hunting is something Isaiah Wiliams says he looks forward to doing each year. “People come from everywhere just to archery hunt but gun season the deer are more active and pushing around,” said Wiliams. Nathan Frazier is the owner of Archers Alley. He says this deer season was a bit unpredicatble. “The numbers were pretty good on archery season this year. As for gun season, it started out a little bit slow,” said Frazier.
In 2018 there were 51,365 deer harvested after the first weekend of firearm season. This year that dropped to 50,173. Despite the drop, some hunters say this year has been strong for them. “We’ve had nice cool weather, and I mean it’s been a great.” said Wiliams.
The owner of Archers Alley says he is noticing a new trend. More families are coming in to enjoy the sport. “A lot of younger hunters out, a lot of parents taking advantage of the crossbow,” said Frazier. The Illinois State Rifle Association says youth deer shotgun season more than doubled from last year. That’s something Frazier says may have helped their numbers. “I don’t know if that’s been a big part of why things stayed flat or even a little bit better is because there are more kids in the woods with their parents,” said Frazier.