2014 Deer Permits May Decrease

Putnam County deer hunters, as well as those in 40 other Illinois counties, could see a decrease in the number of deer hunting permits granted for the 2014-15 year by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR).

IDNR Director Marc Miller said the possible decrease in the number of granted deer permits would reflect a revision of deer population objectives for the state. The revision follows a two-year review of Illinois deer management efforts, taking into account such factors as automobile/car crashes and hunting statistics, he said.

“The IDNR manages deer by county and state population goals, and as a result of our two-year review, we’re making changes for many counties. In these counties our strategy is shifting from deer herd reduction to maintaining or increasing deer populations,” Miller said.

Natural resource biologists have determined deer population goals can now be increased in those affected counties, while still keeping the overall numbers at levels which will reduce conflicts between deer and people, such as automobile/deer accidents and farm crop damages, Miller said.

The biologists have given several factors which have contributed to the deer population decline, including adverse weather conditions, herd reduction efforts, and in some locations, deer mortality due to outbreaks of epizootic hemorrhagic disease, or EHD, Miller said.

The Putnam County Sheriff’s Department reports the number of car/deer accidents in 2013 is about the same as 2011. Percentages of car/deer accidents out of all auto accidents has remained about the same for the past three years at nearly 50 percent. However, Putnam County saw a 31 percent decrease in the number of firearm-killed deer during the 2013 firearm hunting season, a decrease from 520 harvested to 361.

Statewide, the IDNR reported hunters in Illinois harvested a preliminary total of 74,191 deer during the 2013-14 firearm seasons, compared with 99,546 deer harvested in 2012-13.

Source: Putnam County Record