For some areas of the country, deer hunting season extended into the new year to help growing populations.
According to WSILTV.com, the overpopulation of deer has led to a late winter whitetail hunting season, to be held in certain Illinois counties from January 17 through 19, 2014. The Pratt Tribune also noted the Kansas special extended season, which runs from January 13 to 19, 2014.
More than 50 Illinois counties, including Jefferson, Randolph, Perry, Hamilton, Saline, White and Wayne, as well as certain State Parks and Special Hunting Areas, will be open for three more days in the middle of this month.
Plans were already set for the additional Illinois late winter season, but low harvest numbers from across the state have proven the need for such an extension. Last year total deer taken nearly reached six digits, but was down to a mere 74,191 after preliminary readings for 2013.
"Some counties had difficult weather conditions," said wildlife biologist Rich Whitton in the WSIL article. "Most of them dealt with those conditions during the first firearm season. Between the cold and wind and heavy snow, it made things difficult."
The issue is certainly not a lack of deer, which led to the additional season. Only antlerless deer and deer taken from special Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) management zones are available for harvest in the late winter season. Check out details here.
Read a recent piece on CWD discoveries in Wisconsin deer.
With the hunting season extended into the new year, hunters will get more chances at tracking, finding and shooting more deer, which the Illinois Department of Natural Resources hopes will continue to lower populations.
In Kansas, only four deer management units are open during the special extended season. Again, only antlerless can be harvested in the extension, due to the population numbers. Complaints about deer and vehicle versus deer collisions are partly responsible for the establishment of the extended season.