Hunting time nears in Illinois


Hunters are about to head out for another firearm deer season here in Illinois.


The 2020 season runs this Friday through Sunday (Nov. 20-22) and Dec. 3-6. Some areas of the state have special seasons in addition to these dates during December and January.


Those hunting deer are now allowed to have an electronic hunting license on their phone.


“For deer hunters, they always have to have their deer tag in possession,” said Captain John Williamson with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources Conservation Police.


Williamson reminds hunters to make sure they are wearing blaze orange or blaze pink, which is now allowed as well. Everyone should also remember basic gun safety by realizing what is beyond the target before shooting.


“Probably the area where we see issues with safety is tree stands.”


Always check stands before the season starts by making sure the straps are still good. Those entering tree stands should also wear a safety harness. It is also a good idea to let others know where you are going so they know where to look in case something happens.


Carrying a cell phone is crucial when heading out.


“If you do have an emergency out there, you’d have the ability to call for help,” Williamson adds.


To help protect against COVID-19, the IDNR has closed all manned deer check stations for the 2020 firearm seasons. Hunters must report their harvest using the phone check-in system at 1-866-IL-CHECK or by accessing the online check-in. Those hunters wishing to have deer tested for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) can visit participating vendors, such as taxidermists and meat processors, or drop deer heads at self-serve drop off sites.


Hunters are only required to visit the manned check stations in those counties with CWD. This is a surveillance method to track the disease.


More information can be found online at www.dnr.illinois.gov.

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