Springfield (AP) -- It is firearm deer hunting season in Illinois.
The annual firearm deer hunting season starts Friday and runs through Sunday. Then it picks up again for another four days between Dec. 5 and Dec. 8.
The total number of deer taken last year in both firearm hunting season and the much longer bow hunting season was about 180,000 and Paul Shelton of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources says he expects hunters to take about the same number this season.
The highest deer densities in the state are in the woods along the watersheds of the Mississippi, Rock, Illinois and Kaskaskia rivers and in the Shawnee Hills in Southern Illinois.
Hunters can give the deer to the IDNR for donation to food pantries around the state.