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State

Ill. deer hunters take more dear this season

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — The Illinois Department of Natural Resources says deer hunters around Illinois killed more than 72,000 deer during last weekend's opening of the 2012 firearm season. That's an increase of more than 5,000 from a year earlier.

The department says the highest totals during the first three days were in Pike, Fulton, Adams, Jo Daviess and Randolph counties. Hunters in some areas had feared numbers would be reduced because of a drought-driven outbreak of epizootic hemorrhagic disease. But the agency says conditions were very good.

The department says about 60 percent of the deer taken so far are bucks.

The first weekend of the season started last Friday and ended Sunday. It will resume Nov. 29 and end Dec. 2. More than 334,000 firearm deer permits have been issued.

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