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2021 Deer Population Control

During the months of January, February and March 2021, licensed staff will be at multiple preserves participating in the 2021 deer reduction program.  Staff will be sharp shooting deer in the preserves Monday through Thursday in the evening hours.

Below is a description of why FPWC participates in the deer reduction program.

Deer population goals are set on an annual basis in consultation with biologists from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. When the aerial surveys show a population in excess of the goal, a deer reduction program is implemented.

Forest Preserves of Winnebago County is committed to maintaining viable populations of white-tailed deer in its preserves. However, without control, deer populations increase to the point where they start to damage vegetation and deer/car collisions increase. Sharpshooters are used to keep populations in balance with available habitat. District sharp shooters are qualified under IDNR guidelines, they enter preserve properties on foot and shoot from designated elevated blinds during evening hours.

FPWC conducts annual aerial deer surveys in selected parts of the county that have historically suffered from deer over-population. Surveyors are flown by helicopter at 100 to 200 feet above the ground in the winter with good snow cover, which allows the brown deer to be seen on the white background. Not all deer are seen during the surveys, so any deer counts are considered the minimum number in the area.

Any questions or concerns please contact Forest Preserve Headquarter at 815/877-6100.