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November 14, 2006

Hunters head into the field this weekend
2006 firearm deer season opens Nov 17th

SPRINGFIELD, IL- The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) expects nearly 200,000 hunters in the field this weekend as the 2006 firearm deer season opens across Illinois.  Over 335,000 permits have been issued for this year’s season, which is a slight increase over last year.

“Illinois enjoys a nationwide reputation for having an outstanding, quality deer herd,” said Acting IDNR Director Sam Flood.  “The seven-day firearm season is our most popular hunting season and we’re looking forward to another good year when hunters take to the field this weekend.”

Last season, hunters in Illinois harvested a preliminary total of 114,209 deer during the seven-day firearm deer-hunting season.  The preliminary harvest total compared with the record-setting harvest total of 116,675 deer taken during the 2004 firearm season.

Hunters should enjoy decent weather conditions to start the season.

“The good news is that it looks like the wet weather will be over before Friday with some cloudiness remaining over the weekend,” said State Climatologist Jim Angel with the Illinois State Water Survey, a division of IDNR.  “High temperatures will range from the low 40s in Northern Illinois, mid 40s in Central Illinois, and near 50 in Southern Illinois.  Low temperatures will be in the upper 20s for Northern and Central Illinois, and around 32 in Southern Illinois.  These temperatures are fairly close to normal for this time of year.”

The first year hunters in most counties registered the deer they harvested by going online (www.dnr.state.il.us/vcheck) or by phoning 1-866-ILCHECK (1-866-452-4325) was 2005.  Hunters in seven northern Illinois counties (Boone, Dekalb, Kane, McHenry, Ogle, Stephenson, and Winnebago) where IDNR is conducting chronic wasting disease
(CWD) testing are required to take deer they harvest to a county deer check station.  Kane County hunters will check their deer in nearby DeKalb County.

Check station locations for the CWD Deer Season:

•  Boone County - Boone County Fairgrounds, Rt. 76 and Business Rt. 20, Belvidere.
• DeKalb County - Shabbona Lake State Park, 4201 Shabbona Grove Rd., Shabbona
• McHenry County - Sportsman’s Choice, intersection of Routes 14 and 47, Woodstock.
• Winnebago County - Rockford Speedway, Hwy 173 at Forest Hills Rd.
• Ogle County - Castle Rock State Park, Rt. 2, 3 miles S. of Oregon
• Stephenson County - County Fairgrounds, Rt. 26 and Fairgrounds Rd., Freeport

While not thought to be contagious to humans or livestock, CWD is known to spread from animal to animal among deer and elk.  The disease affects the brain of the infected animal, causing it to become emaciated, display abnormal behavior, lose coordination and eventually die.

Illinois expanded its chronic wasting disease surveillance effort in 2002 following the discovery of CWD in neighboring Wisconsin.  For updated information about CWD, check the IDNR web site at: http://dnr.state.il.us/cwd/index.htm.  Hunters who participated in the CWD sampling can check the status of their deer at this site.  Hunters who provided samples from deer that test positive are notified by the IDNR. 

A county-by-county breakdown of last years state wide firearm deer harvest is below:

County             Total 
ADAMS            3051               
ALEXANDER       445                
BOND                        1078  
BOONE              281                
BROWN            1585   
BUREAU            1628              
CALHOUN            1439 
CARROLL            1148              
CASS                    967            
CHAMPAIGN             307             
CHRISTIAN              634             
CLARK            1357           
CLAY             1492           
CLINTON            1019             
COLES   770 
CRAWFORD            1283             
DEKALB              355            
DEWITT        437             
DOUGLAS   255          
EDGAR              719            
EDWARDS              592  
EFFINGHAM            1143        
FAYETTE            2181          
FORD                          174 
FRANKLIN            1440          
FULTON             801          
GALLATIN              623            
GREENE             1804          
GRUNDY               513  
HAMILTON             1457         
HANCOCK  2250         
HARDIN               966           
HENDERSON              836           
HENRY       1002           
IROQUOIS     737  
JACKSON       2292  
JASPER       1224         
JEFFERSON   2637         
JERSEY       1130         
JODAVIESS              2366  
JOHNSON              1744         
KANE                   90  
KANKAKEE         266          
KENDALL                135          
KNOX                   1683        
LASALLE       1510        
LAWRENCE                761         
LEE                            904          
LIVINGSTON        577          
LOGAN         491          
MACON           312          
MACOUPIN       2355        
MADISON       1189  
MARION              2096          
MARSHALL           836         
MASON           746         
MASSAC           654            
MCDONOUGH      1184        
MCHENRY           564            
MCLEAN           802            
MENARD           586  
MERCER         1058 
MONROE         1219        
MONTGOMERY        1460          
MORGAN         1275        
MOULTRIE            305  
OGLE                     1489        
PEORIA        1600          
PERRY         1596          
PIATT                         254 
PIKE                   3737        
POPE                     2044          
PULASKI           711  
PUTNAM           572 
RANDOLPH         2533          
RICHLAND         1083        
ROCK ISLAND        953  
SALINE         1045          
SANGAMON           956 
SCHUYLER        1889        
SCOTT           728  
SHELBY         1463          
STARK           368  
ST CLAIR         1176        
STEPHENSON     1233  
TAZEWELL           912  
UNION          1881          
VERMILION            977  
WABASH            368 
WARREN           811  
WASHINGTON      1461        
WAYNE          2002          
WHITE          1214          
WHITESIDE         1036 
WILL                        426  
WILLIAMSON       1884          
WINNEBAGO           691 
WOODFORD         1048        
TOTAL          114,209         


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