Illinois 2nd season harvest

kuff

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AP
    The second half of Illinois' gun season for deer was the most successful ever, but the overall harvest was slightly down from last year as wildlife officials had anticipated.
    Preliminary numbers from the second half of the season, Nov.29-Dec 2, indicate hunters took 36,406 whitetail, up from 28,174 in 2000.
    However, the opening weekend of gun season, Nov 16-18 saw only 62,761 deer harvested, down from 73,359 last year.
    Sate Department of Natural Resources officials tabulate the overall gun season harvest at 99,167, less than the 101,533 deer taken with firearms in 2000.
    "After near perfect conditions last year resulted in higher firearm harvest than anticipated, we expected firearm harvest this year to decline somewhat," said Paul Shelton, Forest Wildlife Program manager.
    The first half of the season was marred by unseasonably warm weather and, in some areas, heavy fog. Weather also played a spoiling role in the second season, which began with rain and heavy winds.
    But Shelton said hunters stuck it out in the second season to take "our highest second-season harvest ever."
    "The end result is that total firearm deer harvest for 2001 falls right into the expected range."
    Officials said the quality of deer brought into check stations during both parts of the season was impressive.
    As usual, Pike County led the state with a preliminary overall total harvest of 3,753. Adams County was second with 2,719.
    About 278,000 firearms permits were issued to the state's deer hunters this year, including free landowner and paid landowner permits.
    Hunters still have time to bag a whitetail. The statewide archery deer season is open through Jan. 17.
 

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