First firearm deer sea­son on tap Fri­day to Sun­day

Chicago Sun-Times - - OUTDOORS -

It’s that time when I- 57, I- 55, I- 80 and I- 88 be­come high­ways of hope for Chicagoarea deer hunters.

Illi­nois’ first firearm deer sea­son is Fri­day through Sun­day. More than 200,000 hunters will be afield.

‘‘ Been in con­tact with the boys [ in south­ern Illi­nois], and they’re telling me the deer are on the move,’’ Tim Weszelits mes­saged. ‘‘ I hope it lasts till I get there.’’

The weather fore­cast is pass­able, and deer stillmight be in rut ac­tiv­ity. Males­made up 66 per­cent of the archery har­vest last week, ac­cord­ing to the Illi­nois Depart­ment of Nat­u­ral Re­sources.

Through Sun­day, bowhunters were ahead of the har­vest pace com­pared with last sea­son ( 41,376 to 36,587).

For­est wildlife pro­gram man­ager Paul Shel­ton cau­tioned: ‘‘ Cur­rent har­vest is com­pa­ra­ble to the pre­vi­ous five- year av­er­age.’’

There are no reg­u­la­tion changes, but Shel­ton said: ‘‘ Col­lect­ing CWD sam­ples is one of the most im­por­tant tasks that we per­form, as it is vi­tal in al­low­ing us to track changes in CWD dis­tri­bu­tion and in­fec­tion rates. We en­cour­age all hunters to as­sist in this by let­ting bi­ol­o­gists sam­ple their adult deer at the check sta­tion.’’

I will be at a check sta­tion Fri­day. I’ d ap­pre­ci­ate up­dates via Face­book ( Dale Bow­man), Twit­ter (@ Bow­man Out­side) or email ( stray casts@ sbc­global. net).

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