Pike County capitalizes on deer hunting season - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Pike County capitalizes on deer hunting season

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A mounted deer A mounted deer
Pike County Archery Shop Pike County Archery Shop
Stores and business see an increase from deer hunters Stores and business see an increase from deer hunters
Bow hunter at the range Bow hunter at the range
The Pike County Visitor Center The Pike County Visitor Center
PIKE COUNTY, Ill. (WGEM) -

The numbers are in for this year's deer hunting season, and Pike County, Illinois tops the list. That has local businesses excited about the impact hunters have on the local economy.

It was a successful hunting season for businesses like the Archery Shop in Pike County. 

"We were busy all the way through the season. It was a good bow season," store owner Scott Andress said. "Everything aligned up this year."

Andress said the weather was better later in the season, resulting in 4,344 deer harvested in the county.

"We had good weather for the first time in 2 or 3 years to where it was not brutally cold, but guys could hunt," Andress added. "That usually means there's a lot of good deer taken, which there were."

Kaye Iftner, with the Pike County Chamber of Commerce, said local businesses were able to cash in.

"We estimate that over $20 million is spent each year in hunting, those are direct dollars," Iftner said.

Andress said the biggest driver for the hunting season is bow hunters coming into Pike County.

"Most of the guys that are going to spend money and are going to spend time to hunt is bow hunters," Andress said. "The bow hunting is what brings them here in a lot more numbers than shot-gunning does."

Bow hunting season is about 3 months long, giving businesses more opportunity.

"It just extends the time people are here visiting and hunting, beyond just the seven days in late November and December," Iftner said.

Iftner said keeping the top spot for deer hunting is crucial to keep hunters coming into Pike County.

"They fill up our hotels, our restaurants see a major impact from it, local businesses, gas stations, convenient stores," Iftner said.

Iftner said they plan to continue to promote Pike County as the best deer hunting destination in the state by highlighting the longer bow hunting season.

Below is the complete hunting season report from Illinois DNR:

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