A random sample of 5,000 Illinois resident hunters was selected from adult 2020 Illinois resident Habitat Stamp and hunting license holders. Selected individuals were mailed an 8-page self-administered questionnaire designed to query hunters about their hunting activities and harvest in Illinois. We received 2,240 questionnaires, 2,052 of which were usable, for a 42% response rate. Illinois resident license sales increased 3% from 2019-20 (242,704) to 249,554 for the 2020-21 seasons. Total days afield decreased for rabbit, quail, pheasant, woodcock, gray squirrel, fox squirrel, turkey, red fox, gray fox, and opossum. Harvest increased for 6 game species (wild pheasant, groundhog, deer, raccoon, gray fox, and coyote) from 2019-20. Hunters were also asked questions regarding hunting activity and harvest in Illinois, proposed hunting regulations, impacts of COVID-19 on hunting, ticks and tick-borne diseases, and perceived effects of Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD) and Blue Tongue Virus (BTV) on deer hunting. Estimates of wild quail and pheasant harvested beginning with the 2011-12 season were calculated differently than previous estimates to include harvest of captive-raised birds distinct from wild birds, so comparisons with seasons prior to 2011-12 are to be made with caution.
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