The state of Illinois plans to limit deer hunting in more than 40 counties next year. The state says the deer population needs a chance to stabilize and grow. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources says efforts to thin the deer population have been successful. The idea was to reduce car accidents and prevent damage to crops. Last year, hunters in Illinois saw the deer harvest drop by nearly a fifth; similar drops happened in neighboring states. Spokesman Tim Schweizer says this year, DNR will "adjust" the number of firearm permits.
"In some cases, issuing fewer permits so that they'll be fewer deer perhaps that'll be taken by hunters. The ultimate goal then is to see that the deer population might go up a bit in those counties."
The range of target deer population increases varies from less than one percent in Fulton County, to nearly 29 percent in Woodford County. DNR says the change will not affect bow-hunters. Other counties targeted for increase include Peoria, 21%, Logan 17%, Tazewell 13%, Champaign 10% and McLean 4%.
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