Changes coming to 2014 Illinois deer hunting season - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Changes coming to 2014 Illinois deer hunting season

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QUINCY, Ill. (WGEM) - The Illinois Department of Natural Resources say 41 counties in Illinois have low deer populations, and that's prompting officials to consider some changes during deer hunting season.

The DNR proposes lowering the amount of permits and tags allowed in the next deer season to try and bring the population numbers back up. Butcher Block owner Dan Veihl says the lower deer population had already made an impact on his business and it's forcing him to focus more on other services it provides. 

"It stems back actually to this year because it did affect our business this year," Veihl said. "We were probably 30 percent down in deer that we process anyway. So it already has started to do that. What it does for us though is deer season isn't our main core of business. So it makes us get better at what we should be doing on a 365 day a year thing anyway."

Veihl says only 5 percent of his business comes from processing deer. Farm and Home Store Manager Leon Obert says though it may hurt business at first he thinks it will help down the road.

"I think the Illinois Conservation Department definitely is taking a hard look at it and maybe it is great to have it regulated a bit over the next couple of years and then hopefully bring the numbers back up to where they were," Obert said. "It's definitely a sport we rely on very much as far as being vital to our business."

Obert says they have expanded their hunting selection in recent years, but thinks this will preserve hunting for the future. He thinks it will allow more hunters to get a kill. He says if it just limits the amount a single hunter can shoot, than it allows every hunter a chance to get something.

The Illinois DNR are trying to get hunters' input on the matter by filling out a survey to help the DNR assess the situation. You can find a link to that survey here.
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