Illinois Firearm Deer Season begins Friday, November 22, and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources has several tips for hunters who plan on participating.
The seven-day season runs Friday through Sunday, November 24 and concludes on Thursday, December 5 through Sunday, December 8. The legal hunting hours are a half hour before sunrise to a half hour after sunset.
If a hunter successfully takes a deer, they must register that harvest by 10:00 p.m. on the day they take the deer either online (www.dnr.illinois.gov) or by calling 1-866-IL-CHECK (1-866-452-4325).
In local counties, hunters must register all harvested deer at county check stations between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. They can have their deer checked for Chronic Wasting Disease there as well. The locations of the check stations are as follows:
Successful hunters can also donate their harvest to the Illinois Sportsmen Against Hunger program, which takes whole deer, processes them into venison, and then donates the meat to local food banks, food pantries, and other charities. You can find more information on that program at www.dnr.illinois.gov/programs/ISAH.
While hunting, it's important to stay safe. There were 26 hunting incidents reported in Illinois last year, three of which were fatal. So far this year, there have been 14 incidents. The IDNR recommends the following tips:
Illinois Conservation Police Officer Dennis Frichtl says along with the safety harness, a tether could save a hunter from a serious fall: "If they use that full harness safety system, in conjunction with a tether, which keeps them connected to a line while they ascend, hunt, and descend the stand, it increases the effectiveness of that safety harness."
For more information on deer hunting regulations, visit www.dnr.illinois.gov/hunting/deer
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