Illinois Deer News

CWD remains serious point of concern in Midwest deer herd June 29, 2015 Illinois, Outdoor News 
... There were 59 cases of CWD confirmed during FY2014 – the most ever recorded since DNR [Illinois] began filing the reports in 2003. The state sampled 7,432 deer during FY2014, down from the 8,069 sampled in FY2013 and the 8,203 sampled in FY2012. The 59 cases came from 13 counties...

In late 2014 and early 2015, SHARK secretly video documented a deer kill in the Forest Preserve District of Will County, Illinois. Disturbing images in the documentation led us to call for an independent investigation. The District refused. What happens when a government body resists calls for an independent investigation? Not much June 4, 2015


Deer hunting rules changes in works June 3, 2015 Illinois, Northwest Herald
...Many Illinois deer hunters hold an intrinsic distrust for anything the IDNR says or does ...  proposal, which would eliminate over-the-counter antlerless permits for non-residents ... The real firestorm lies in the second proposal that would put a limit on the number of whitetails that an archery hunter can take in a season...

New director, new deer herd? May 30, 2015 Illinois, Paris Beacon News
... elimination of selling antlerless deer permits over the counter to non-residents... There was no way that hunters were traveling from all over the country to one of the top trophy deer states in America to shoot does... the combination of unlimited doe permits, hunters hunting without having to have an antlered tag to purchase, and disease has really set our state back on its heels, but we aren’t the only ones troubled by a couple of declining (some would say poor) deer seasons...

Deer reg changes proposed May 27, 2015 Illinois, Chicago Sun-Times
... . Bag limit: Below, please find a link to a survey that asks deer hunters their opinion on establishing a bag limit on archery deer hunters. This survey is open to all deer hunters... You can find the hunter survey on bag limits here:  https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/KMJMQVG. The survey is open now, and will close on Monday, June 9, 2015.

The kind of deer study Illinois hunters would endorse May 11, 2015 Illinois, Outdoor News
...  it's seemed impossible to get a handle on just how many deer are roaming Illinois. It's obvious the number is down compared to 10, 5 or even 3 years ago...

Will County to monitor deer culling more closely May 8, 2015 Illinois,Chicago Tribune
... agreed to a few recommendations made by SHARK ... In addition to having a supervisor on site to monitor that sharpshooters adhere to rules and regulations, the forest preserve staff also agreed to verify whether a deer is still alive after being shot and will expand its reporting to note any second shots needed to kill a deer...

A Piece of Our History:  Illinois may have an open deer season May 1, 2015 (article from January 13, 2957) Daily American News
... The 1957 Illinois Legislature will be asked to authorize an open hunting season for deer in the state for the first time since 1900 ... a census of deer population in the state indicates almost 15,000 deer ... 

Animal carcass pile used by Illinois DOT for roadkill April 29, 2015 Illinois, Quad City Times
... "The Illinois Department of Transportation was relocating animals to that site," ... "I wouldn't say mass grave ... a Memorial Day weekend can leave 10 dead deer on a single stretch of road...

Were the deer killed in Will County forest preserves? Forest Preserve District President Suzanne Hart claims no. This video shows what happened when SHARK challenged District personnel and the media to join them in the forest preserves to prove it once and for all. April 24, 2015 Illinois



Illinois lawmakers shoot down drone hunting plan August 16, 2015 Chicago Daily Herald
... The plan was rejected in the Illinois Senate, falling one vote short of approval, but Morrison kept the proposal alive for another possible vote next week...

Kids learn about deer at Youth Antler Hunt April 13, 2015 Illinois, Pantagraph
... Fifty-six children participated in the first-ever antler hunt, the first sponsored by the association to raise awareness about nature and white-tailed deer herds. The antlers, which are shed over the fall and winter ...

Animal activists spur review of deer culling April 9, 2015 Illinois, Chicago Tribune 
... Steve Hindi, president of SHARK, raised issues about the culling based on video from Dec. 11 to Feb. 5 in McKinley Woods near Channahon, Goodenow Grove in Crete Township, and Hickory Creek, near Mokena. He said it showed deer being shot, but not necessarily killed. It also showed "few deer if any" at the bait sites – even in areas where the food supply was minimal ... [see video a few stories below]

... plans to turn 45 acres south of Arthur into a zoo where people could walk and drive around to see animals such as bison, deer, llamas and camels... 

Social affiliation and contact patterns among white-tailed deer in disparate landscapes: implications for disease transmission, Illinois. EM Schauber, CK Nielsen, LJ Kjær, CW Anderson… - Journal of Mammalogy, 2015
... Our findings highlight the poor fit between deer behavior and simple models of disease transmission and, combined with previous infection data, suggest that direct contact is the primary driver of CWD transmission among free-living female and juvenile white-tailed deer.

When SHARK's hidden cameras exposed the cruelty of a deer killing operation in the Forest Preserve District of Will County, Illinois, District President Suzanne Hart suddenly claimed that there were so many deer, they were "starving to death." This video refutes that misinformation, and uses the District's own records to do it. - March 31, 2015 Illinois



Springbrook, Winter culling program thins Springbrook deer herd by 40 March 26, 2015 Illinois, Chicago Tribune 
... animal-rights activists targeted the program in the early 1990s, but most of the opposition has since ended... In nearby Will County an animal rights group has questioned the need for the Will County Forest Preserve District's deer culling ... "Surely we can do better than to simply slaughter innocent animals," the group's president, Steve Hindi said...

The Forest Preserve District of Will County has a deer killing program to reduce numbers. As is usual with these mass slaughter programs, the public is not allowed to see, at least, not until SHARK installs undercover video cameras. This video shows what happens when a program has no oversight. A shooter drags his still kicking victim away. If we didn't have the video, the killers would deny this ever happened. Please call or email the Forest Preserve District of Will County, and very politely ask that the killing stop, and that nonlethal options be explored. Phone: 815-727-8700 Email: CountyBoard@willcountyillinois.com - March 25, 2015 Illinois



To the rescue: Pekin cops save drowning deer March 13, 2015 Illinois, Morton Times News 
... a young doe thrashing in the deep, frigid waters ... had to wrestle with the deer to secure the rope around its neck and a leg ... Their reward was the pause the deer gave to look back, as if in thanks, before disappearing into nearby woods ...

Animal rights group questions deer kill March 12, 2015 Illinois, Chicago Tribune
... camera footage shows shooters "roving in their vehicles with spotlights, apparently looking for any available strays to shoot," which is contrary to the district's policy of shooting only at the bait sites... Is there a deer problem? If so, use nonlethal options, and let the taxpayers see what's going on." ...

Officials in Will County, Illinois claim there are too many deer, so they've been killing them. See what SHARK found when they planted hidden cameras in some of those preserves. Government deer kills are occurring around the country, but regular taxpayers have little idea about the cruelty their money is paying for. SHARK is calling for governments to explore nonlethal, humane alternatives. If kill programs are to continue, they should be video documented and shown to the people whose taxes are used to kill the wildlife that live on our public lands. - March 12, 2015



...  we do not need a weapon that can reach out several hundred yards to harvest a deer.  This will mean more shot opportunities resulting in more harvested deer.  We need to let our deer herd grow, and not take more deer out of it... hunters will be taking too long of shots and crippling deer...

CWD and Deer Culling in Illinois March 5, 2015 Shootingtime.com
...  I don’t believe chronic wasting disease is being mismanaged.  I do question the driving factor for culling.  During the aggressive culling we experienced the last couple years, we were told the disease is still on the climb.  Do we question the management strategy or do we question the integrity of the numbers given? ...

Lake County expands culling program to thin its deer herd February 21, 2015 Illinois, Chicago Tribune
... the effort has led to a deer cull tallying more than 200 this year.  Based on aerial counts, roughly 16,000 deer roam Lake County ...  Over the past 10 years, the district culled 100 to 130 deer per year until 2010, when the district started adding more preserves, now numbering 14. This year, 234 deer were removed... [this approach does not change the long-term deer population]

Will things change for Illinois deer? February 17, 2015 Heartland Outdoors
... During the past decade and a half, I’ve stated in magazine articles that effective deer management can’t be solely performed with deer/vehicle collision statistics. But, in fact, that’s what our DNR has attempted to accomplish... Ongoing disease, the over-glut of permits, and the open floodgate of non-residents have become a major detriment to this state’s deer herd ...

Galena suspends deer-culling program February 11, 2015 Illinois, Telegraph Herald
... Citing a lack of manpower, City Administrator Mark Moran said Galena has suspended its controversial deer-culling program.  The announcement, made at the end of Monday night's City Council meeting, drew applause from residents who packed the council chamber to get an update and voice their opposition to the short-lived program ...

Rock Island Evaluates Urban Deer Hunt Program February 9, 2015 Illinois, KWQC 
... From last October to mid-January this year hunters harvested a total of 50 deer in the city. This was the first full season for the program... “We kill 50 deer, there will probably be at least that many being born in the spring,” said Alderman Kate Hotle. She suggested re-visiting other potential options ...

Stop bill to allow deer 'hunting' on preserves February 5, 2015 Illinois, Chicago Tribune
... They are crammed into pens, fed by people, selectively bred, given hormones, and are selected on websites for shooting, a process that often requires the deer be transported ...

Deer herds on the decline January 31, 2015 Illinois, Sauk Valley Media 
... We can attribute the decline in the deer herd to many things ... Things such as our rampant coyote population, and the comeback of the bobcat, have contributed for sure. But the lax regulations of our deer harvests are certainly the biggest factor... Now, we limited the seasons some this year ...

... Alaska is one such state that has banned the use of drones for hunting wildlife... Hunting with drones is cheating, and the practice should be banned, says Illinois Senator Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield) ...

States banning use of drones for hunting, fishing January 31, 2015 Illinois, The Courier
... If the new regulations are approved, they would allow Illinois Department of Natural Resources to confiscate drones being used for any type of hunting and fishing. Those who violate the laws could face $2,500 in fines and one year in jail...

Morris, Plan to harvest deer, monitor disease draws fire January 23, 2015 Illinois, Chicago Tribune
... CWD (chronic wasting disease) is a problem is certain parts of northern Illinois, including around Morris.... The state wants to harvest an undetermined but small number of deer to take brain tissue samples...  

...  deer harvest total increased from 897 in 2013 to 976 in 2014 in McHenry County despite the state total plummeting from 148,614 to 145,804. The state drop was caused in part because 20 fewer counties were open for the late winter antlerless season in 2014 after reaching their deer population goals...

Illinois deer harvest is down again January 22, 2015 Belleville News Democrat
... Hunters bagged 145,804 during the season ... There were 148,614 deer harvested during the 2013-14 season — a total that left many Illinois hunters complaining about how the state manages the deer herd...  47 percent does and 53 percent bucks.

Three charged with illegally hunting deer in Illinois January 13, 2015 Illinois, State Journal Register 
... accused of illegally killing 13 deer... charges of felony resource theft, unlawful hunting by use of lights from a vehicle and unlawful deer hunting at night...

Prairie Advocate
... a preliminary total of 76,547 deer during the 7-day traditional firearm deer hunting season ... compares to 74,318 harvested during the 2013 firearm season... 

Declining deer harvest a big issue in Illinois December 27, 2014 Illinois, Chicago Sun-Times
... The historic collapse of the number of deer harvested by Illinois hunters in the 2013-14 seasons looks as though it will be nearly mirrored in the 2014-15 seasons.  In the 2013-14 seasons, hunters harvested 148,569 deer, down 17.8 percent from 180,811 in 2012-13. There was a 25.3 percent drop in firearm harvest, from 99,546 in 2012 to 74,318 in 2013.

Deer hunting practices need to change December 26, 2014 Illinois, Commercial News 
... one thing we all agreed on is that these Late Winter, Antlerless Only Deer Seasons need to be stopped immediately as they are detrimental to the deer herd. If the IDNR doesn’t stop them, hunters need to do so by refusing to hunt those seasons! If the seasons aren’t ended, the deer herd will continue to decline! ...

Hunters: 'we know the score' December 25, 2014 Illinois, Outdoor News
...  there seems to be a common theme when deer hunters get together... my group of hunters and multiple other groups we’ve talked with did not see very many deer at all ... I personally think the deer herd is in decline and hasn’t reached the bottom yet.” ...

Bobcat hunting may return to Illinois after 40-year hiatus December 22, 2014 Illinois, Chicago Tribune
...The bobcat was on Illinois' threatened species list from 1977 to 1999...  estimates the bobcat population has grown to 5,000 statewide ...hunters have reported seeing fawn bones near bobcat dens... awaiting Gov. Pat Quinn's approval, amends the wildlife code to allow hunters to kill one bobcat in a season that would run Nov. 1 to Feb. 15...

Weather again plays factor in deer harvest December 18, 2014 Illinois, The Southern
... the statewide deer harvest was up slightly statewide several Southern Illinois counties showed marked increases over 2013... Because of heavy snow last year, 2013 harvest was down considerably ...



Several area counties close to late-season deer hunt December 13, 2014 Illinois, Alton Telegraph
... Though up slightly from the 2013 total of 74,318, it still translates into better than a 20 percent reduction in harvest from 2012... 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... a 14 percent reduction statewide (from peak levels) in the rate of automobile accidents with deer...

Second firearms deer season harvest makes up some ground December 10, 2014 Illinois, Outdoor News
... the total 2014 firearms harvest at 76,547, a modest bump from the 74,318 deer harvested during the 2013 firearms season...

TV Show Charged With Hunting Violations December 4, 2014 Illinois, WSIL TV 
...  An Illinois Conservation Police investigation into the Wired Arrow Outdoors television show has resulted in the company's owners, pro-staff members and guests being charged with 134 wildlife violations, including the taking of 18 deer illegally in Illinois...

Where have all the deer gone? December 1, 2014 Illinois, Sauk Valley Media 
... Each year the number of hunters increase and the harvest decreases... it’s not blue tongue disease, and deer haven’t become smarter, and we hunters haven’t got dumber. We know numbers are down in a big part of the state, and the reason has been the slaughter sponsored by the IDNR...

Illinois firearms deer harvest continues to decline November 28, 2014 Quincy Herald Whig
...  hunters bagged 51,830 deer, which was nearly a 4,000 decline from 2013 ... which turned out to be the lowest deer harvest in more than 20 years...

... the preliminary total is 51,830 deer for the Nov. 21-23 weekend. That's down from nearly 56,000 during the first weekend of the 2013 firearm season ...

Firearm deer hunt is under way November 23, 2014 Illinois, The Telegraph
... from the first 47 days of the season show hunter success ahead of last year’s total for this same period... Illinois deer hunters had harvested 44,003 whitetails during this period. And, the figures are slightly ahead of those in 2013. Last year’s total during this period was 43,670...

Biologist expects slightly higher deer harvest November 20, 2014 Illinois, Daily Register 
... In previous drought years hunters — especially archery hunters in October — have found deer killed by epizootic hemorrhagic disease, but Bozett said wet conditions over the summer along with an early frost have slowed that disease. EHD disease is spread by a biting midge, what we commonly call “no-see-ums,” ...

... There were 74,191 deer taken during the seven-day firearms season in 2013, compared to 99,546 deer killed in 2012. In fact, it was the lowest harvest total since 1990... Already, the archery harvest total is exceeding last year's pace with 44,003 deer reportedly harvested. It's a slight increase over the 43,670 deer taken during the same time frame last year ...

Results of the 2012-13 Allerton Park Deer Hunter Survey November 19, 2014 Illinois, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
... To try and curb the deer population at Allerton Park (Monticello, Illinois), a deer
management program was instated in the fall of 2004 to reduce the size of the herd... All 35 Allerton Park hunters were mailed an 8-page questionnaire, and we received 23 (70%) questionnaires. Ninety-five percent of Allerton Park hunters indicated they had hunted at the park in previous years; 45% indicated there was no change in harvest for the 2012-13 season from previous years...

DuPage culling nearly 400 deer from its preserves November 16, 2014 Illinois, Daily Herald 
... Federal sharpshooters are in the process of culling nearly 400 deer as part of the DuPage County Forest Preserve ... Started in 1993, the current goal of DuPage's deer management program is to maintain a population that's about 15 to 20 deer per square mile. [recent U.S. Forest Service research puts the optimal number at about 15 to 28 deer per square mile with forest regeneration at higher densities] ...

... Through Sunday, November 9, 2014, Illinois archery deer hunters harvested a preliminary total of 33,707 deer, compared to 32,568 for the same period in 2013.  Harvest to date has consisted of 50.4% does and 49.6% males ...

Hungry deer can pose threat to shrubs, trees November 8, 2014 Illinois, Chicago Tribune 
... The best way to hold off deer is with fences, Linsner says. It takes an 8-foot fence to block leaping deer, he says, but they won't jump if they are not sure of the landing space. That makes it very effective to have two parallel fences 4 to 6 feet high and 4 or 5 feet apart...

Deer harvest back on the upswing November 7, 2014 Illinois, The Southern
... Illinois archery deer hunters harvested a preliminary total of 23,039 deer, compared to 22,405 for the same period in 2013 through Nov. 2... 60.4 percent does ...

Deer-car collisions continue to decline November 3, 2014 Illinois, State Journal Register 
... Collisions totaled more than 25,800 in 2004, according to Illinois Department of Transportation figures.  Last year, the figure was just over 15,300 collisions... Late-season hunting days are adjusted based on target collision thresholds by county that indicate the deer population is rising, falling or at a good balance...

Kane County, State officials want to shoot up to 130 deer in Kane County forest preserves October 31, 2014 Illinois, Chicago Daily Herald
...  Meissner-Corron forest preserves would also see deer culling for the first time in the state's latest efforts to control the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease ...  the actual number of deer culled last year was 65 ...

Illinois Drop In Archery Deer Harvest October 27, 2014 IDNR News
... Through Sunday, October 26, 2014, Illinois archery deer hunters harvested a preliminary total of 15,610 deer, compared to 16,553 for the same period in 2013. Harvest to date has consisted of 64.4% does and 35.6% males (10046; 5564). Top five counties are Pike (528), Fulton (481), Jefferson (405), JoDaviess (335), and Williamson (306)...

Deer harvest should rebound this season October 17, 2014 Illinois, The Southern
... The record deer harvest in Illinois -- 201,209 -- occurred in 2005...  “As to whether we get back up to the 180-200,000 range, I’m skeptical we would do that... There is no question the Illinois deer population is down from its peak. Standards adopted in the last decade called for a 14 percent overall decrease...

Archery deer harvest up October 10, 2014 Illinois, The Southern
... Harvest consisted of 70 percent does and 30 percent males (3439; 1476)...

IDNR announces changes for 2014-15 deer hunting seasons October 6, 2014 Illinois, Bureau County Republican
... In 2008, the IDNR began using trends in the rate of deer-vehicle accidents (DVA) as an index of deer population status in each county ... The most recent goal changes, which adjusted the deer goals higher in 41 counties [see announcement] ... Illinois was among a number of Midwestern and Great Lakes region states in which deer harvest declined in 2013-14, including Missouri, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Ohio...

... Most of the serious crashes involving deer are the result of evasive maneuvering by drivers in an attempt to miss the deer. This may result in a head-on crash with another vehicle, or a fixed-object crash ...

Illinois Deer Hunting Forecast for 2014 October 1, 2014 gameandfishmag.com
... 
Mt. Vernon, Deer season open in Mt. Vernon October 1, 2014 Illinois, Mt. Vernon Register-News
... The City Council approved bow hunting in the city limits in 2011 ... “We’re getting rid of 20 to 25 deer a year with the hunting program, which actually means we are reducing the number of deer by 50 to 75 the next year. It’s more common now for deer to have twins as opposed to single births.” ...

Illinois Data: An estimated  700,000 deer in 2013 after a 25 percent drop in the harvest. The number of deer licenses for 2014 were reduced by about 4.1 percent in response.  Reasons for the decline include adverse weather conditions, herd reduction efforts and deer mortality due to outbreaks of epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD). About 750,000 to 800,000 deer in 2012.  The dramatic harvest declines have become a major issue.  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.  In 2008 the Task Force on Deer Population control recommended a 14 percent reduction in the rate of deer vehicle collisions from peak levels, the IDNR began increasing the harvest to achieve that goal in 2009.  The 2014 harvest was 47 percent does.
     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.  Deer hunting was limited in about half the state by 1873 with the last open season in 1900.  They were reintroduced by bringing in deer from other states.  A census in 1957 showed about 15,000 deer concentrated in the far northwest of the state with some in the southern forests.  Even by the 1970's, it was rare to see a deer.  History  The 2013 harvest was 50.9 % male and 49.1 % female.
    Once nearly extinct, the bobcat population has grown to around 5,000 in 2014.


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