1st firearm deer season underway in Illinois

Deer Hunting is underway in Illinois and that means some areas of Rend Lake will be closed for the weekend
Published: Nov. 18, 2022 at 8:07 AM CST
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ILLINOIS (KFVS) - Expect to see a lot of blaze orange this weekend.

Firearm deer season is underway in Illinois.

The first season started on Friday, November 18 and runs through Sunday, Nov. 20.

The second firearm deer begins Thursday, December 1 through Sunday, Dec. 4.

Muzzleloader-only deer season runs from Dec. 9 through Dec. 11. According to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR), hunters may also use a muzzleloader permit with a muzzleloading rifle during the second firearm season.

During the fire arm deer season, there will be some temporary closures at Rend Lake.

According to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, some recreation areas will be closed, which include some trails, campgrounds and day use areas. The details can be found here.

These areas will be used by those participating in the annual Rend Lake Deer Hunt for Persons with Disabilities.

Last year, IDNR reported 70,456 deer were harvested during the firearm season in Illinois.

Three southern Illinois counties were in the top five with the most deer.

Hunters in Randolph County topped the ranking with 2,106 deer harvested, followed by Adams County with 1,990, Jackson County with 1,865, Jefferson County with 1,818 and Fulton County with 1,667.

IDNR says the season record was set in 2005 with 123,792 harvested.

Firearm deer season in Illinois will have a new option next year.

IDNR says, effective January 1, 2023, a new Illinois law will allow hunters to use centerfire, single-shot rifles in certain calibers for deer hunting.

Rules for the new law are still being developed, but some of the details can be found here.