IDNR closes CWD check stations for 2020 firearm deer season

In response to rising positivity rates of COVID-19 and in an effort to help ensure the health and safety of Illinois hunters and Illinois Department of Natural Resources staff, the IDNR on Tuesday announced the closure of all deer check stations during the upcoming firearm deer-hunting seasons, slated for Nov. 20 to 22 and Dec. 3 to 6.

“The closure of deer check stations and the loss of chronic wasting disease monitoring data was a difficult decision and one that our staff did not make lightly,” IDNR Director Colleen Callahan said in a news release. “However, because the health and safety of hunters and IDNR staff is and should remain the priority during these difficult times, it was a necessary decision.”

The IDNR uses deer check stations to monitor chronic wasting disease in Boone, Carroll, DeKalb, Grundy, Jo Daviess, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, La Salle, Livingston, McHenry, Ogle, Stephenson, Will and Winnebago counties.

Instead of bringing deer to check stations, successful firearm hunters in these counties must report their harvest by 10 p.m. on the same calendar day the deer is taken either by using the toll-free telephone check-in system at 866-452-4325 or by accessing the online check-in system at www.il.wildlifelicense.com/harvestReport/harvestReport.php.

Successful deer hunters, especially in chronic wasting disease-positive counties, still may have their deer tested for chronic wasting disease. Hunters can visit participating vendors (taxidermists and meat processors) or drop off deer heads at self-serve drop-off sites. A list of all 87 chronic wasting disease sampling locations can be found online at www2.illinois.gov/dnr/programs/CWD/Documents/CWDSamplingLocations.pdf.

For information on COVID-19, visit the Illinois Department of Public Health website at http://www.dph.illinois.gov/covid19.

For information on deer hunting in Illinois, visit the Hunt Illinois website at huntillinois.org/deer or the 2020-21 Illinois Digest of Hunting and Trapping Regulations at www2.illinois.gov/dnr/hunting/Documents/HuntTrapDigest.pdf.