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Changes for Illinois Deer Hunters

Efforts to reduce the number of deer in Illinois have been so successful that the state plans to reduce the number of hunting permits this year.

Illinois already met its goal of reducing the deer population statewide a few years ago. But some counties still had herds deemed problematic. They caused car crashes and crop damage.

Now, the Department of Natural Resources has unveiled a plan to increase the number of deer in 40 counties by anywhere from 1% to 29%.

DNR spokesman Tim Schweizer said Illinois' deer harvest dropped significantly last year, partly because of weather and disease.

“Illinois wasn't alone in that. A number of Midwest and Great Lakes-region states saw their deer harvest decline as well,” he said. “The Department considers that in making regulations for the following deer season, and for deer seasons ahead.”

The change will apply to hunters who use firearms, not bow hunters.

DNR is asking hunters to takea survey on the proposed changes at its website.

Brian Mackey covers Illinois state government and politics from the WUIS Statehouse bureau. He was previously A&E editor at The State Journal-Register and Statehouse bureau chief for the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin. He can be reached at (217) 206-6020.