DNR examines modifying deer hunting season | Environment
SPRINGFIELD, IL (KFVS) - Officials with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) say they are looking its deer management program to see if modifications are needed to hunting seasons and regulations to reduce the deer population and limit the spread of chronic wasting disease in the Illinois deer herd.
The review of Illinois’ deer management program is a follow up to execution of a number of recommendations made in 2008 by the state’s Joint Legislative Task Force on Deer Population Control.
Among those recommendations, was a statewide 14% reduction in the deer herd, as indicated by the rate of deer vs. vehicle accidents, with specific county goals identified. IDNR expanded the late-winter deer season and made available additional permits in some counties beginning in 2009 to encourage hunters to harvest additional surplus deer. The statewide accident rate is very close to the identified goal, although some counties still remain higher than desired.
The IDNR also expanded the special chronic wasting disease (CWD) deer season in 2009 as part of the program begun in 2002 for surveillance and targeted herd reduction in counties where CWD had been identified.
According to IDNR, wasting disease afflicts deer by causing a degeneration of the nervous system, and fatal infections can be passed by close contact among deer.
IDNR officials say they will be conducting an analysis of both programs during the coming months and will provide opportunity for public comment on management goals.