Five whitetail deer browse behind our house this past week, looking for edibles under the snow. The whitetail population is a lot larger nowadays, compared to the numbers of deer in Illinois when I was growing up here. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources was aiming for a 14 percent reduction in the statewide deer herd in 2013. That recommendation came from the state Joint Legislative Task Force on Deer Population Control. Studies and efforts to control the whitetail population take into account the need to maintain good health in the herd and also to reduce agricultural crop damage and vehicle-deer encounters. Illinois hunters harvested almost 150,000 deer during the 2013-14 season. Hunters in some areas of the state will see fewer deer permits issued next season, while other areas will stay the same. I look forward to a healthy herd and an occasional backyard visit.
T.E. Griggs is a writer, editor and photographer and a retired U.S. Marine.