Dave Dahl -- Illinois Radio Network

Illinois deer hunters continue to thin the herd. The late-winter antlerless season and the special chronic wasting disease season run concurrently, with the first weekend just past and the second weekend Jan. 15-17.

In addition to a recreation opportunity for hunters, the chronic wasting disease season is “to get more deer for sampling – for testing – of chronic wasting disease, and also to reduce the density of deer in those counties,” says Tim Schweizer, a spokesman for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. This year's CWD season is in fourteen nothern Illinois counties.

Schweizer says the two late-winter seasons, in their first weekend, totaled 3,939 deer harvested. That compares to 2,981 for the same period a year ago.

Jan. 17 also marks the end of the bow-and-arrow season, which is popular.

“The archery deer harvest through the Third of January is tracking right on line with archery deer harvest a year ago,” says Schweizer. “Just over 53,000 deer have been taken by hunters statewide during archery deer season so far.”

The top five counties for the late-winter and CWD seasons are Jo Daviess. Fulton, Pike, Schuyler, and Brown. The top five counties for the archery season are Pike, Fulton, Jefferson, Adams, and Jo Daviess.