The fields and forests of the Stateline are home to a new breed of predator, the deer hunter. But before these sportsmen can show off any new prized possessions, they have to square with the state.
DNR officials want to know where a hunter shot their deer, what kind of gun was used, and if any rare wildlife was spotted while out on the trails. But most importantly they're looking for deer infected with Chronic Wasting Disease.
The neurological disorder has become a major problem in the Stateline. It was first detected in November of 2002, and so far 112 cases are confirmed. The disease takes between two to three years to show up, so during that time the deer could be spreading it onto other animals.
So to help curb this problem, the state issued 335-thousand permits this year, slightly up from the past.
"If there's fewer deer interacting they're less likely to spread the disease so one of our first appointments was to increase the number of permits to kind of lower the density a bit so there's less candidates to catch the deer or catch the disease," says DNR Biologist Michael Wefer.
Illinois biologists have collected samples from more than 25-hundred deer since last year, 16 of them had Chronic Wasting Disease. There's currently no reports of humans catching it. But if your deer is contaminated, biologists say it's probably best to not eat it.
Boone County has the most reports of chronic wasting disease, followed by Winnebago, McHenry, Dekalb, and Ogle counties. Deer season ends tomorrow and will pick back up again November 30th through December 3rd.