Illinois hunters just finished the annual deer hunting season. The Department of Natural Resources looks at why hunters are so important to the state.
Hunting season in Illinois is tied directly to Thanksgiving. Hunters can’t take to the woods and go searching for deer to fill their freezers until the week after Thanksgiving. When Thanksgiving is late, hunting can get harder. Most seasons are tied to when deer go into their annual mating season – and they don’t look at the calendar.
Wildlife officials were happy to see the season averaged out well, with hunters claiming 153,000 deer this year, according to Dan Skinner, the forest wildlife program manager at the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
Deer don’t have natural predators in Illinois. The state would find it difficult managing them without hunters.
Skinner says hunters also make state highways safer. In overpopulated areas, deer tend to run out into the roadways more often and cause problems for motorists.