The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

January 10, 2013

Archery deer totals down entering final weeks


DANVILLE — With the archery deer season winding down and ending Jan. 20th, here are the archery deer season results as of Jan. 6, the end of week 14 of the archery season. I have had readers tell me they enjoyed reading about the archery season as it unfolded this hunting season.

As of Jan. 6, Illinois archery deer harvest stood at 56,904, compared to 59,176 taken during the same time period last year. Two weeks of hunting remain in the season.

The Sex ratios of the harvest to date are 49.5 percent female: 50.5 percent male and harvest during the past three weeks has been 60 percent female.

The top five counties to date are Pike (2,697), Fulton (1,918), Jefferson (1,312), Adams (1,283) and Peoria (1,110)..

The archery season continues through Jan. 20th. One additional weekend of firearm hunting remains in select counties (please check regulations), with the Late Winter Deer Season and the concurrent Special CWD Deer Season on Jan. 18-20. Vermilion County is one of the counties open for the Late Winter Deer Season.

Vermilion County archery hunters have harvested 888 deer this season as compared to 1017 at this time last season.

Where are the Geese?

I was asked by a reader of this column about what happened to the large number of Canada geese that generally pass over our area this time of the year.

One might remember four or five years ago standing at the mall and watching hundred and hundreds of geese coming into Lake Vermilion during the afternoon and early evening hours.

I have referred to these large flocks of geese that come over as they migrate as “high flyers”. Generally large flocks of geese that are migrating southward are up high and should not be mistaken for the lower flying flocks that are resident geese coming back from the fields to spend the night in local waters.

Upon occasion a flock of migrating geese will land and use local waters to spend the night but many times they can be heard flying well after dark; you can’t see them then but you can here them.

There are several factors that control when and how many of these high flying flocks pass over our area. One of these factors revolves around how bad the weather is in the states to our north; primarily Minnesota and Wisconsin; when the weather up north gets really nasty, the geese are on the move southward.

Another one of these factors revolves around open water to our north as many geese don’t migrate nearly as far to the south as they used to; many stopping and staying the winter without ever getting here. Warm water lakes, lakes and ponds with aerators and just plain warmer weather all play a factor in keeping geese from getting this far south.

Food supplies within a given area, and slightly altered migration routes due to food, open water, etc. sometimes send the geese in another direction.

The one sound that makes my blood boil is the sound of high flying geese heading northward in late February and early March.

Sam Van Camp writes about the outdoors on Fridays and Sundays. Call him at 662-6559. Fax: 446-6648. E-mail: