"Don't veer for deer": Experts offer tips to prevent crashes

A white-tailed deer.

In response to rising positivity rates of COVID-19 and in an effort to help ensure the health and safety of Illinois hunters and Illinois Department of Natural Resources staff, the IDNR on Tuesday announced the closure of all deer check stations during the firearm deer hunting seasons, slated for Nov. 20-22 and Dec. 3-6.

"The closure of deer check stations and the loss of chronic wasting disease monitoring data was a difficult decision and one that our staff did not make lightly," said Colleen Callahan, director, IDNR. "However, because the health and safety of hunters and IDNR staff is and should remain the priority during these difficult times, it was a necessary decision."

Deer check stations are used by IDNR to monitor chronic wasting disease in Boone, Carroll, DeKalb, Grundy, Jo Daviess, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, LaSalle, Livingston, McHenry, Ogle, Stephenson, Will, and Winnebago counties. Instead of bringing deer to check stations, successful firearm hunters in these counties must report their harvest by 10 p.m. on the same calendar day the deer is taken by using the toll-free telephone check-in system at (866) 452-4325, or by accessing the online check-in system at https://www.il.wildlifelicense.com/harvestReport/harvestReport.php.

Successful deer hunters, especially in CWD-positive counties, may still have their deer tested for CWD. Hunters can visit participating vendors (taxidermists and meat processors) or drop deer heads at self-serve drop off sites. A list of all 87 CWD sampling locations can be found online at https://www2.illinois.gov/dnr/programs/CWD/Documents/CWDSamplingLocations.pdf.

For more information on COVID-19, visit the Illinois Department of Public Health website at http://www.dph.illinois.gov/covid19. For more information on deer hunting in Illinois, visit the Hunt Illinois website at https://huntillinois.org/deer/ or the 2020-2021 Illinois Digest of Hunting and Trapping Regulations at https://www2.illinois.gov/dnr/hunting/Documents/HuntTrapDigest.pdf.

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