Hunters in Illinois bagged 104,000 deer during last year’s firearms season alone, and Department of Natural Resources (DNR) deer biologist Paul Shelton considers 2003 to have been a very good season overall. For 2004, additional hunting opportunities include a firearms deer season in the western third of suburban Chicago’s Kane County and 15,000 nonresident archery tags, up from 12,800. Shelton notes a “slight upward creep in the deer population the last couple of years,” toward 800,000 deer statewide. Trophy-buck aficionados usually do very well in the triangle formed by Adams, Brown and Pike counties in west-central Illinois. Central counties like Fulton, Knox and Peoria make big contributions to state record books, too.
Deer Forecast 2004 -- MIDWEST