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Kane County to allow bow hunting for deer

Updated: September 13, 2012 9:37PM

Two forest preserves on the north end of Kane County will be open to archers for the first time this upcoming season, as the county tries to control an overcrowded deer population.

The Freeman Kame Forest Preserve near Gilberts and the Brunner Family Forest Preserve in Dundee Township will each be open to controlled archery on a lottery basis, for two, five-week seasons.

In both preserves, they have had high numbers of deer, Forest Preserve Community Affairs Director Laurie Metanchuk said.

“We’ve been monitoring the deer population up there for years,” she said.

At Brunner, they have had counts as high as 50 deer per mile, and at Freeman Kame, the counts have been as high as 25. A healthy population is typically below 20 deer per square mile.

A high deer population can throw a preserve out of natural balance, result in a higher spread of tick-borne disease, and an increase in deer-vehicle collisions.

In order to keep some of these issues in check, a fixed number of archers will be allowed into these preserves between Nov. 1 and Dec. 9, and then again from Dec. 10 to Jan. 20.

The preserves would be divided into zones, with one to two hunters allowed in per zone. The county does not yet know how many zones there will be, which will ultimately decide the number of archers allowed in.

Archers will be determined by a lottery basis between Sept. 26 and Oct. 10. There will be a $10 fee to enter the lottery for an archery spot. From that point, the lottery winners will have to pass a proficiency test to be able to shoot.

The forest preserve hopes to have an application form to enter the lottery up on the forest preserve website soon. The website is

Metanchuk said the forest preserve plans on keeping the program going with other preserves that have a high deer population in the upcoming years.

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