SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois Department of Natural Resources says hunters harvested roughly 74,000 deer during this year's firearm season.
The preliminary total of 74,191 is down about 25,000 from last year.
The firearm season was Nov. 22-24 and Dec. 5-8.
DNR Director Marc Miller says severe weather may partly explain the lower numbers, with portions of the season marred by snow and freezing rain.
He says once all deer seasons are complete, state biologists will evaluate deer-management goals on a county-by-county basis to get stability in the deer herd.
Preliminary harvest reports show Pike, Jackson, Fulton, Jo Davies, Randolph and Adams were the top counties.
The state's three-day muzzleloader season is Friday through Sunday. The archery deer season ends Jan. 19, and the antlerless-only season is Dec. 26-29 and Jan. 17-19.