Illinois Deer News

... Department of Natural Resources says they will use the money to fund current projects, including research on deer and catfish... 

Two men arrested for wildlife violations April 7, 2014 Illinois, The News-Gazette 
... Illinois Conservation Police say the men used a spotlight on a deer and attempted to shoot it from a road at night...  the arrests were made following a year-and-a-half-long investigation... 

... The 2013-2014 deer harvest was about 148,500. That was a drop from nearly 181,000 the previous season. Costello says DNR might adjust the deer-hunting seasons and regulations... [Comment from reader]: Illinois is the only state in the country to manage the entire states deer herd using only DVA's, deer vehicle accidents...

Expect changes in deer seasons as DNR tries to improve herd March 21, 2014 Illiinois, Belleville News Democrat
... The poor deer harvest during the recent 2013-14 hunting season has Illinois lawmakers demanding answers ... "We're going to try to do something to increase the deer population," ...

Group hopes to manage deer population March 15, 2014 Illinois, My Journal Courier 
... the Illinois Whitetail Alliance ...  is urging hunters to contact lawmakers in support of the proposals to help restore the state’s deer herd back to acceptable levels ... reducing the pressure on the overall deer harvest ...

Fatal deer disease kept at 1-2 percent March 14, 2014 Illinois, The Daily Journal 
... The state effort is both to reduce herd density in CWD infected areas and "to have younger deer who aren't as infected," ... Since CWD was first identified in Illinois deer in 2002, a total of 408 cases have been confirmed, primarily in northern counties next to or near Wisconsin, where the disease is prevalent....

Changes may be coming in deer management March 5, 2014 Illinois, Bloomington Pantagraph
... This year 148,569 deer were harvested compared to 180,811 in the same time period a year ago. Biologists believe factors in the decline included very adverse weather with more snow and severe cold, higher than normal deer mortality because of epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD) or blue tongue, and heavier deer reduction efforts for maintenance of parks and timber in some locations...

CWD Discovered in Will County March 2, 2014 Illinois, ChicagoNow
... The first case of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in Illinois was reported in Boone County in November of 2002 ...  As of June 2013, there have been 408 official cases of deer with CWD in Illinois...

... Researchers found no statistical differences in the CWD rates between the two states from 2003 to 2007 when both actively culled deer. However, the disease rate increased in Wisconsin in the five years after it ended culling... The study recently published in the journal “Preventive Veterinary Medicine” was done by scientists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign...

Deer harvest down in Illinois, Kane County February 25, 2014 Illinois, Chicago Sun-Times
... , hunters in Illinois harvested a preliminary total of 148,569 deer during all 2013-14 seasons, compared with a total harvest of 180,811 in 2012-13... adverse weather, herd reductions to achieve management goals and, in some locations, deer mortality due to outbreaks of epizootic hemorrhagic disease,” the release states...

... 2013 was one the worst hunting seasons he's seen. Hunters and non-hunters reported a significant decrease in deer sightings... Davenport has associated the low population with several reasons, including too many issued permits, disease, and poor state management. [see video below]


State wants to boost deer numbers, but not here February 24, 2014 Illinois, Robinson Daily News 
... "The IDNR manages deer by county and state population goals, and as a result of our two-year review we're making changes for many counties. In these counties our strategy is shifting from deer herd reduction to maintaining or increasing deer populations," said IDNR Director Marc Miller... Harvest numbers were down significantly for the 2013-14 season ...

Strong deer advocacy group formed & meet Miller February 22, 2014 Illinois, voices.suntimes.com
... A group of Illinois deer hunters formed the “Illinois Whitetail Alliance” to promote proactive deer management in Illinois. This group met with Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) officials and presented a plan for deer management changes on the heels of a record harvest drop during the 2013 deer season and eight consecutive years of decreased deer numbers. The proposed changes would help offset several years of overharvest from liberal seasons and bag limits, and loss of deer due to disease....

... The meeting was requested because of the historic drop in deer harvest in the 2013-14 seasons and because of the IDNR’s lackluster response this month. The IWA includes a top lobbyist and Brent Manning, a former IDNR director and a member of the Illinois Outdoor Hall of Fame.  Facebook page for IWA

Bullwinkle deer? Where's Rocky? February 21, 2014 Illinois, Journal Gazette and Times-Courier
... Bullwinkle Disease is characterized primarily by massive swelling of the tissues in the nose and upper lip of the deer. Cases have been documented and studied from as far south as Alabama and as far north as Michigan. It makes the deer’s head and snout look much like that of a moose ...

... Illinois was among a number of Midwestern states in which deer harvest declined in 2013-14, including Missouri, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Ohio. Biologists cited a number of factors for the decline, including adverse weather, population decline and outbreaks of epizootic hemorrhagic disease...

Will County deer cull aims to stop spread of illness February 18, 2014 Illinois, Chicago Tribune
... Forest preserve commissioners last week gave the go-ahead to remove another 20 deer from Kankakee Sands, which covers more than 1,200 acres, to help determine if the one positive result for chronic wasting disease was an isolated case or if the disease has spread through the herd...

Will County OKs more deer culling February 15, 2014 Illinois, Kankakee Daily Journal 
... the reporting of the first case of CWD in a Will County deer ... District biologists estimate that removal of the additional deer will result in about 23 deer per square mile in area, which meets the district's goal of maintaining deer population at 20 to 30 per square mile...

Deer hunt down 18% February 14, 2014 Illinois, Kankakee Daily Journal
... Illinois hunters killed a total of 148,569 whitetail deer in the 2013-14 seasons which ended Jan. 19 — down 18 percent from the previous year's total of 180,811, the Department of Natural Resources reported Thursday...

State wants bigger deer population in Bureau, Putnam counties February 14, 2014 Illinois, News Tribune 
... Since there’s not a deer count, the most objective way to estimate deer population are deer-vehicle accident statistics — “the number of accidents divided by the amount of vehicular traffic miles driven.”) ... The previous “goal” for deer/vehicle collisions for Bureau County was 413.5 per million miles driven, and the proposed goal is 511.8 — a 23.8-percent increase ... 

Deer permits may drop this year February 14, 2014 Illinois, The News-Gazette
...  Fewer firearm deer permits may be issued in East Central Illinois later this year, because state natural resource officials have decided to shift from reducing the herd in some counties to maintaining, or even increasing, the population.... several factors contributed to the decline: adverse weather conditions, herd reduction efforts and, in some locations, deer mortality due to outbreaks of epizootic hemorrhagic disease, or EHD...

... a tissue sample taken from a deer culled on Dec. 10 at the District’s Kankakee Sands Preserve tested positive for the disease. As a result of the positive test, the first in Will County, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) asked the District to cull an additional 20 deer from Kankakee Sands Preserve and adjacent preserves located south of Illinois 113 and west of the Kankakee River, according to a press release from the Forest Preserve District....

Illinois hunting: The deer survey February 13, 2014 voices.suntimes.com 
... The online survey for Illinois deer hunters is very simple, as in four questions... The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) plans to revise deer population objectives for more than 40 counties beginning with the 2014-15 deer season, following a two-year review of Illinois deer management efforts...

First, it was goose management … now it's deer February 7, 2014 Illinois, The Southern
...  Illinois had an overabundance of deer.  Deer vs. vehicle carnage had reached epic proportions. And, in many areas of Southern Illinois clearly defined browse lines were all too apparent.  As directed by the 2008 Joint Legislative Task Force on Deer Population Control, the IDNR took action. Seasons were added, others were extended, the amount of tags available to hunters was liberalized in an effort to bring down the deer herd by 14 percent...

Will County, One Diseased Deer Discovered in Will County During Culling Process Feburary 7, 2014 Illiinois, 1340 WJOL
... for the first time in its history.  During this winter's "culling efforts" to reduce the surplus white tail deer population, one of the deer culled at the Kankakee Sands Preserve has tested positive for the feared "Chronic Wasting Disease." ...

Rock Island, Oh deer, no easy answer for R.I.'s dilemma February 2, 2014 Illinois, Quad Cities Onlines
... One thing that seems certain is that urban hunting alone doesn't solve the problem... Some things Rock Island and others might consider are an ordinance that would allow 10-foot fences in some deer-prone residential areas ... Habitat modification is another option where large patches of vegetation are removed to discourage deer from going there.... Dogs with invisible fences have been shown to be effective, while dogs on chains have not...

Few wolves in Illinois but 'coywolves' on the rise  January 29, 2014 Illinois, Northwestern University 
... wolf-coyote hybrids ... "coywolves." ... The animal, sometimes called a “coywolf”, is gaining ground in habitats where wolves have been eradicated. The coywolf is a result of the interbreeding of the eastern wolf and the western coyote, a phenomenon first documented in Ontario’s Algonquin Provincial Park in 1919... 

Disease, not cold weather, is reducing deer harvests January 25, 2014 Illinois,  Peoria Journal Star 
... I am very curious why the Illinois Department of Natural Resources seems so reluctant to admit to a very obvious and serious factor that has contributed to the overall decline of the number of harvested deer in this state.... the truth is that there are significantly fewer deer throughout much of this state. Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD) has taken a huge toll ...

...  Illinois wildlife officials want to persuade landowners in some northern Illinois counties to let them shoot deer to control the spread of chronic wasting disease...

Scientist documents 50 years of deer behavior January 23, 2014 Illinois, State Journal-Register ·
... “The study has provided conclusive evidence that the triggering of the rut is not related to weather conditions like first frost, the falling barometer or other weather changes or the phases of the moon,” ... “Onset of the breeding cycle is triggered by decreasing sunlight known as ‘photo period,’” Harn said...

Trouble ahead for deer population January 18, 2014 Illinois, Saukvalley 
... After years of having Chronic Wasting Disease shoved down our throat and seeing just about no effects from it, the powers that be just kept plugging along like our deer herd was stronger than ever – even though the numbers of tags they issued kept rising, and the number of deer killed kept dropping... Our herd is in trouble, folks, and that ain't good...

Will County, Where have the deer gone? January 13, 2014 Illinois, ChicagoNow (blog)
 ...individual deer “management” programs .. the Will County Forest Preserve District continues to execute a deer-culling program with "volunteer" sharpshooters. Instead of opening up these supposedly overpopulated preserves to bowhunting, they enable volunteers to shoot deer at night over baited piles, in hopes of harvesting deer to reduce the herd in those areas...

Deer numbers down, and hunters aren't happy about it January 10, 2014 Illinois, The Southern
... The harvest this season through the two primary firearm seasons was 74,191 as compared to last year’s total of 99,546...  the IDNR has been working to reduce the Illinois deer herd, based on car-deer collisions ... "Some people think EHD may have completely ravaged the deer herd.” ... 

Kankakee Valley, Weather stymies youth deer hunt January 10, 2014 Illinois, Daily-Journal
... Kankakee Valley Park District's first-ever Helping Hands Hunt last weekend at River Road Park.  ... The special hunt is an extension of the park district's annual youth archery deer hunt, which has been going on for a dozen years to introduce youngsters to archery hunting ... 

DNR looking to expand efforts to control deer population, disease January 8, 2014 Illinois, Freeport Journal Standard 
... chronic wasting disease, or CWD ... Since there isn't a treatment or cure for the illness, the state attempts to contain the spread of this illness to other animals by strategically placing sharpshooters in areas where deer with the disease have been found... 

Deer numbers top outdoors story of 2013 January 2, 2014 Illinois, State Journal-Register
... Probably the most-discussed story of the year is the 25 percent drop in the firearm deer season harvest... Hunters say efforts to reduce deer numbers may have gone too far.. the Illinois Department of Natural Resources’ efforts to combat chronic wasting disease and reduce the number of deer/vehicle collisions...  They also say EHD may have been more severe and killed more deer than first thought... 

The Illinois whitetail disaster December 31, 2013 Heartland Outdoors 
... The “harvest” may be down roughly 25% since last year but the “herd” is really down more like 70% in some areas. On top of that, if you compare this year’s firearms harvest to that of 2005, it is actually down 40%...  No regard at all is given to setting regulations that will improve sex-ratios or age structure. Nope, just go out and kill X number of deer... Illinois politics will never allow for the proper management of our whitetail deer herd...

Deer dates added: State OKs additional three days in January December 31, 2013 Illinois, The Southern
... The late-winter season allows counties with surplus deer to lower doe populations and reduce the number of motorist-deer crashes ... Jackson County had the highest preliminary harvest total in the region at 1,931, down from 2,219 last year...

Far fewer deer killed this year December 28, 2013 Illinois, Saukvalley
... Statewide, the deer harvest dropped by a quarter – from 99,546 in 2012 to 74,191 this year, according to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.  That trend applied to every county in Illinois where deer hunting is allowed, except Alexander County in southern Illinois, which saw a small increase...

Deer Numbers Down Across Illinois December 23, 2013 thejournal-news.net
... The reduction in county deer populations, combined in some instances with localized effects of Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD) outbreaks in the deer herd and less than optimal hunting conditions, have resulted in a lower firearm deer harvest than in previous years.  In the coming months,..

Illinois EHD Outbreak Summary for 2013 December 2013, Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Doug Dufford, Wildlife Disease and Invasive Species Program Manager
     EHD (Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease) appeared across the state of Illinois again in 2013, though reports don’t appear to be as severe or extensive as in 2012. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) received a total of voluntary 318 reports from concerned landowners and hunters totaling 1,220 dead deer from 63 counties. 2012 was the worst year for EHD in Illinois, with 2,968 dead deer reported to IDNR from 87 counties. 
     EHD is a viral disease, spread by biting gnats, which can cause high fever and severe internal bleeding in deer. While often fatal to deer, EHD is not hazardous to humans or pets. EHD-like symptoms in cattle have been reported where EHD has been confirmed in deer. Cattle can be successfully treated with medications. EHD is often confused with bluetongue, a similar disease that can affect sheep and cattle...

Deer harvest tumbles December 18, 2013 Illinois, Rock River Times
... IDNR Director Marc Miller believes factors other than unfavorable hunting conditions were responsible for the poor deer harvest. Diseases such as chronic wasting disease (CWD) or epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD) may have played a role in the poor deer harvest. However, people have not reported finding large numbers of dead deer during the spring and early summer...

Wintering Deer seek Conifer cover December 16, 2013 Illinois, Examiner.com
     As the cold deepens and the snow falls in Chicago, the beloved and gentle deer who inhabit the surrounding suburbs and wooded areas enjoy traditional offerings of apples, pears and other foods brought to them by their many admirers.  As for the northernmost herds ... they must migrate in search of conifer cover for protection from the snow and wind...

Deer harvest numbers down from last year December 16, 2013 Illinois, News-Gazette
... In some counties, a reduction in deer populations — combined with the Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease that's affecting the herd — were to blame for this year's lower firearm harvest, according to state wildlife officials...

Historic drop in harvest in firearm deer seasons indicates need for change December 14, 2013 Illiinois, Chicago Sun-Times 
... the low harvest of 74,191 deer during the two firearm seasons ... a 25 percent drop in harvest from last fall ... Illinois’ deer herd is out of whack, and so is management... seemingly unlimited doe permits in some counties and overharvest is affecting Illinois’ deer herd... In the long term, I would like to see Illinois wildlife professionals begin a statistical model to monitor the deer herd, other than the insurance company-based deer/vehicle collision charts...

Rock Island deer hunt off to slow start December 13, 2013 Illinois, Quad-Cities Times
... The Rock Island Police Department is managing the hunt ... Stephen Tollenaer, 4th Ward, and Kate Hotle, 5th Ward, voted against the ordinance. During city council debates on the ordinance, several aldermen, including Joy Murphy, 6th Ward, said the issue is one of public safety...

Illinois hunting: Firearm harvest down dramatically December 12, 2013 voices.suntimes.com 
... Beginning in 2008, the IDNR adopted deer herd management goals based on recommendations of the General Assembly’s Joint Task Force on Deer Population Control.Those recommendations called for a 14 percent reduction statewide (from peak levels) in the rate of automobile accidents with deer... The reduction in county deer populations, combined in some instances with localized effects of Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD) .. have resulted in a lower firearm deer harvest in previous years ...

Authorities try to save deer stuck in Des Plaines river December 10, 2013 Illinois, Chicago Tribune
... firefighters could see the young buck's head poking out of the icy, cold water... firefighters had to use their upper bodies to break the ice... The medical team operated on the buck for almost 40 minutes but could not revive the deer ...

Deer harvest declines, but Pike is king December 3, 2013 Illinois, Jacksonville Journal Courier
... Although early numbers show the deer harvest down significantly for the first firearm season, Pike County remains the state’s deer capital... About 59 percent of the deer taken were bucks, compared with 60 percent during the first weekend of the firearm season in 2012...

Quincy Herald Whig
... "Weather conditions were difficult throughout most of the season, with some parts of the state seeing rain or snow, and virtually everywhere getting a taste of high winds and frigid temperatures," said Paul Shelton, IDNR forest wildlife program manager...

Will County, Deer culling to start in Will County November 29, 2013 Illinois, Kankakee Daily Journal
... the third year of the program ... The goal of the management program is to control the deer population to 20-30 per square mile...

Rock Island, No deer hunting allowed in R.I. Chippiannock Cemetery November 29, 2013 Illinois, qconline.com
... I, too, have mixed feelings about the deer situation in Rock Island... The concerns of cemetery management have not been satisfied by the city; therefore, no hunting will be allowed. If anyone should be a witness to hunting in the cemetery, please call the police...

Hunters Harvest 55,708 Deer During Illinois Firearm First Season November 27, 2013 IDNR News
      Hunters in Illinois harvested a preliminary total of 55,708 deer during the opening weekend of the 2013 Illinois Firearm Deer Season on Nov. 22-24, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) announced today. The second portion of the firearm season will be Dec. 5-8.  The preliminary harvest total of 55,708 for the first three days of the 2013 firearm season compares with the first weekend harvest of 72,111 deer during the 2012 deer season. For the entire seven-day firearm season in 2012, hunters harvested 99,546 deer in Illinois.

Deer hunting scatter shots November 27, 2013 Illinois, Heartland Outdoors
... The time is ripe for an Illinois deer conservation group. Illinois Whitetails Unlimited? Illinois Deer Hunters Forever? Whatever the name, the idea floated by more than one hunter in the past week is that we need a lobbying group in Springfield that will speak on the behalf of everyone involved with deer hunting... No matter what the DNR totals show, thousands of deer died this summer and fall from disease (EHD) ...


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Illinois Data: About 700,000 deer in 2013, although the significant drop in the deer harvest, an 18 percent decline,  has many thinking the herd population is lower. Reasons for the decline include adverse weather conditions, herd reduction efforts and deer mortality due to outbreaks of epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD).  About 700,000 to 725,000 in 2012. Another estimate puts the number at 750,000 to 800,000.  In 2008 the population was estimated at 800,000 to 1 million. About 750,000 in 1995, the peak during the 1990s.  The herd population had been under a managed decline since 2005. The Illinois General Assembly decided deer management should be linked to the number of auto-deer accidents.  Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) was first discovered in the deer herd in 2002.
    Over hunting during early settlement led to the virtual extinction of deer in Illinois by the late 1800's.  They were reintroduced by bringing in deer from other states.  Even by the 1970's, it was rare to see a deer.  History

Report Poachinig and Baiting:  1-877-2-DNR-LAW

Other useful links:
Living with White-tailed Deer in Illinois, University of Illinois Extension 
- Chronic Wasting Disease Statistics
Fox Valley Wildlife Center
Illinois Environmental Protection Agency
Illinois Deer Hunting Information
Illinois Department of Natural Resources

Department of Natural Resources News

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White deer seen near Shumway, Ill. on 4/10/2013