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According to the Illinois DNR, hunters killed a preliminary total of 74,191 deer during the seven-day firearm deer season (first season was Nov. 22-24, second season was Dec. 5-8). Compare that to the 2012 when hunters shot 99,546 deer during the two gun hunts.

What caused the big harvest drop? This article speculates that recent outbreaks of EHD the last two summers were worse than thought, and that coyotes are taking a measurable toll on the state’s herd (something we have been monitoring big time on the blog, plus we did a full BIG DEER TV episode on coyote-deer predation last year). But the story goes on to imply that the DNR might be mismanaging the deer herd by permitting too much doe hunting, etc.

What do you Illinois hunters have to say?