The numbers for Illinois’ deer hunting seasons are in, and western Illinois once again proved the best place in the state to hunt.
A lot of hunters bagged a deer in Jo Daviess County in northern Illinois. Same with Jackson and Jefferson counties in southern Illinois.
But it was western Illinois that proved to be the best hunting ground in the state. Pike County led all counties in the state with 4,436 deer harvested. Adams, Hancock, and Fulton counties weren’t far behind.
The numbers were good despite an epizootic hemorrhagic disease outbreak in some prime deer hunting counties.
“In 2012, we saw a few counties that saw some pretty significant loss of deer through EHD,” Ed Cross with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources said. “If you look at the counties that had higher harvest rates this year, you can see some of those counties are starting to bounce back. And we’re certainly happy with the number of deer that were harvested.”
Overall, Illinois hunters bagged harvested 151,577 deer in the 2018-2019 season. In the 2017-2018 season, hunters in Illinois harvested 147,695 deer.
Cross said territory is one factor for a successful hunt. This year, he said, the other was the weather.
“When you look at the first part of the archery season and the first weekend of firearms season, the weather was much more favorable,” Cross said. “The calendar kind of fell in line with the rut season as well. You add all of those factors together and you had a better situation for hunters in Illinois.”