First firearm deer hunting season opens Nov. 22

It’s the most wonderful time of the year – according to most Illinois deer hunters.

Firearm deer season kicks off Friday.

It’s a popular time of year says Illinois Department of Natural Resources spokesperson Rachel Torbert.

“We have two firearm seasons here in Illinois and they are our most popular and our busiest season… So, Friday through Sunday you’ll have hunters out grabbing that buck or that doe for opening firearm season.”

The second firearm deer weekend runs December 5th through the 8th.

Last year, hunters took a preliminary total of 80,896 deer during the Illinois Firearm Deer Season on Nov. 16-18, 2018 and Nov. 29-Dec. 2, 2018, compared with 80,117 deer taken during the 2017 firearm season.

Knox County hunters harvested 1,118 deer over the two firearm seasons in 2018 and 1,145 in 2017.

There’s a muzzleloader only season December 13th through the 15th.

Hunters using muzzleloading rifles harvested 3,863 deer during the Muzzleloader-Only Deer Season on Dec. 7-9, 2018, compared with harvest 3,765 in the 2017 muzzleloader season.

Hunters are reminded – they must report any deer they take to the DNR – either online or by calling 1-888-IL-CHECK.

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