Sauk Valley deer hunters' harvest numbers up slightly in first weekend of annual firearm season

SPRINGFIELD – Hunters in Illinois harvested a preliminary total of 47,147 deer during the first weekend of the state firearm deer season, Nov. 20-22, compared with 50,173 deer taken during the first firearm weekend in 2019.

In the Sauk Valley, the preliminary harvest was up a bit: Hunters took a total 1,542 deer this year, compared to 1,457 last season.

In Carroll County, the harvest was 351 deer this year, 432 last; in Lee County, 334 compared to 211; in Ogle County, the numbers were nearly identical: 437 this year, 436 last; and in Whiteside County, the harvest was 420 this year, 378 last.

The second half of the state's 7-day firearm deer season begins Thursday and ends Sunday.

Other deer-hunting opportunities in the weeks ahead include:

• Archery season, which continues through Jan. 17, except for Thursday through Sunday, when it is closed for firearm season.

• Muzzleloader-only, Dec. 11-13;

• Late-winter antlerless-only, Dec. 31-Jan. 3 and Jan. 15-17;

• CWD deer season, in select counties only (Carroll and Ogle in the Sauk Valley), Dec. 31-Jan. 3 and Jan. 15-17;

Go to www.dnr.illinois.gov for more information.