The total deer harvest during the weekends on either side of Thanksgiving is up about 1,500 from last year, and just short of 100,000. Paul Shelton, forest wildlife program manager for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, says the preliminary total for the seven days of firearm season is 99,324.
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He says the warm weather may have kept the numbers down, as deer may be less inclined to run around -- “They’ve already got their winter coats on,” Shelton says – and less-hardcore hunters may find some other activity. Shelton says there were no surprises in the top five deer-harvest counties: Pike (3,068), Fulton (2,815), Adams (2,534), Jo Daviess (2,534), and Randolph (2,221).