The number of deer killed in the 2014 firearm season met the expectations of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. The seven-day total – on the weekends on either side of Thanksgiving – is 76,547, up 2,229 from 2013. It's a far cry from the annual flirtation with six figures a few years ago.
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“The firearm deer harvest had been in that range,” says DNR spokesman Tim Schweizer. “The firearm deer harvest has been less than that in recent years. In 2007 the department began an effort to reduce the deer herd in the state (by) issuing more permits – particularly doe permits – (and by) adding seasons.” More hunting opportunities remain. Archery season continues through Jan. 18, and muzzleloader season is this weekend:Friday through Sunday.