Firearm deer hunting season will begin Friday, with the first part of the season running through Sunday. The season will resume on Thursday, December 3, continuing through Sunday, December 6. With the firearm season nearly here, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources is encouraging a safe hunt.
“The firearm deer hunt is a tradition shared by generations of Illinoisans and visitors to our state, and the seven-day season is our busiest hunting season of the year,” said IDNR Director Wayne Rosenthal. “The best way to enjoy time afield during deer season, and anytime in the outdoors in Illinois, is to be aware, be alert, and be safe.”
In 2014, there were 20 hunting incidents, two of which resulted in fatalities, reported in all hunting seasons in Illinois. Among the hunting incidents reported last year, 10 involved tree stand falls. The IDNR Division of Safety Education reminds hunters using tree stands to use a Fall Arrest System (FAS) safety harness.
Safety educators and IDNR Conservation Police also remind everyone hunting with a firearm to:
• Treat every firearm as if it is loaded, and never assume a firearm is unloaded;
• Always point a firearm in a safe direction;
• Be sure of the target, and make sure there are no other hunters, homes, buildings, vehicles or other animals beyond the target;
• Keep their finger out of the trigger guard and off the trigger until they are ready to shoot.
The Illinois Firearm Deer Season legal hunting hours are one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset.
Hunters who take a deer during the firearm season in most Illinois counties must register the deer they harvest online or by toll-free phone check-in system. The online deer registration is available through this link: http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/hunting/Pages/HarvestReporting.aspx.
The toll-free phone deer registration line is 1-866-IL-CHECK (1-866-452-4325). Hunters registering deer through the online or phone systems must do so by 10:00pm on the day they take the deer.