Special season Jan. 12-14 helps control deer density in five northern Illinois counties

SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) is expanding the Special chronic wasting disease (CWD) Antlerless-only Deer Season to allow hunting in all of DeKalb County when the special season is conducted in five northern Illinois counties Jan. 12-14, 2007.

The Special CWD season, used to help control deer density and the spread of chronic wasting disease in counties where it has been detected in wild deer, had been announced previously to include only the portion of DeKalb County north of the East-West Tollway (Interstate 88). A case of CWD found recently in a hunter-harvested deer in DeKalb County south of the tollway prompted the IDNR to open all of DeKalb County for the special season.

The Special CWD Antlerless-only Deer Season will now be open countywide in Boone, DeKalb, McHenry, Ogle, and Winnebago counties.

The total number of CWD cases detected to date in Illinois is 157. Chronic wasting disease was first discovered in Illinois in November 2002. While not believed to be contagious to humans or livestock, CWD is known to spread from animal to animal among deer and elk. The disease affects the brain of the infected animals, causing them to become emaciated, display abnormal behavior, lose coordination and eventually die.

Residents and visitors of the state are reminded of the state’s ban on feeding wild deer and to refrain from feeding wild deer and other wildlife in areas where wild deer are present to help prevent CWD from spreading.

Special CWD season antlerless-only permits are available for $5 each at participating DNR Direct license and permit vendors. In addition, hunters with unfilled 2006 firearm, muzzleloader or archery deer permits valid for one of the open counties may use those permits to hunt during the CWD season. Hunters using unfilled permits from the 2006 firearm, muzzleloader or archery season may take deer appropriate for that permit (antlerless-only or either-sex) for the CWD season.

Check stations will be manned during the CWD season in the open counties. Successful hunters will be required to bring their deer to a check station prior to 8 p.m. on the day of harvest.

Hunters who submit samples for CWD testing will be given an additional permit valid for the remainder of the season. Check station locations for the CWD Deer Season, Jan. 12-14 are listed below:

  • Boone Co. – Boone County Fairgrounds, Rt. 76 and Business Rt. 20, Belvidere
  • DeKalb Co. – Potawatomi Woods Forest Preserve, 32199 Kirkland Rd., 1/4 mile north of Ill. Rt. 72, Kirkland
  • McHenry Co. – Sportsman’s Choice, intersection of Routes 14 and 47, Woodstock
  • Ogle Co. – Castle Rock State Park, Rt. 2, three miles south of Oregon
  • Winnebago Co. – Rock Cut State Park, 6425 Hart Road (one mile east of Perryville Rd. on Hart Rd.), Loves Park.