Illinois DNR: Deer hunters need to be aware before deer season begins

Illinois’ Department of Natural Resources is telling deer hunters about a few changes for the 2018 deer hunting season. 

Ed Cross with DNR said that because of low deer numbers in Champaign, Douglas, Macon, Moultrie and Piatt counties, the state is allowing archery hunters to only bag antlered deer during the first two weeks of archery season. 

“Deer populations levels in those counties are below currently adopted county goals in the region,” Cross said. “DNR issued similar restrictions for archery deer hunters in the late 90s and early 2000s. And that was seen as being effective in boosting the size of deer in those counties, as well as the number of deer in those counties.”

Cross said the department is also putting out the warning about epizootic hemorrhagic disease, or EHD, in deer across the state.  

“So far this year, we’ve had 55 suspect cases reported to us. For us, that’s a low to a moderate level,” Cross said. “Most of the cases are in counties that are on or near the Illinois river. And then we’ve had scattered cases throughout the state.”

Cross said outside of the Illinois River counties, southern Illinois has seen the most EHD cases.  

DNR is asking landowners, farmers, and hunters to report dead and dying deer, because they may be suffering from EHD.

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