Tuesday, Mar 11, 2014
Deer Hunting Season Extended for Overpopulated Counties
WSIL -- Several Southern Illinois counties will get a second late-winter deer season next month. Biologists say dozens of counties are overpopulated with deer and hunters need to help out.
"Some counties had difficult weather conditions," said wildlife biologist Rich Whitton. "Most of them dealt with those conditions during the first firearm season. Between the cold and wind and heavy snow, it made things difficult."
Statewide, numbers were down across the board. Nearly 100-thousand kills were reported a year ago, compared to only 74,000 in 2013. The decrease means there will be a late hunting season for dozens of overpopulated counties.
"The deer biologists make those determinations based on collections of deer-vehicle collision accidents," explained Whitton.
More than 50 Illinois counties, including Randolph, Perry, Jefferson, Hamilton, Saline, White and Wayne will have an additional firearm deer season from January 17-19th. The late-winter season allows counties with surplus deer a chance to lower deer populations.
"In 2009 there was a joint task force on the deer population," said Whitton. "They set a mandate that we were to reduce the deer herd by 15 percent."
Hunters can only target does which will help reduce overpopulation and limit the number of motor vehicle crashes.
"They are targeting antlerless only deer which are responsible for reproduction of the population," said Whitton. "That is one way we can give hunters extra days out in the field. We want them to shoot those does."
Wind: 18 MPH
Humidity: 68 %