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Deer management the topic of conversation

A sparse crowd of a few dozen came to the Chicago-area open house on Illinois’ deer-management program Tuesday evening in St. Charles.

‘‘As much as anything, we are here to listen to hunters and other constituents,’’ said John Buhnerkempe, chief of the wildlife division.

At least in northern areas, response to chronic wasting disease was the primary concern, particularly the use of sharp-shooting to control the spread of CWD.

Illinois’ deer management is a balancing act behind multiple groups, with landowners, hunters, farmers and drivers being key.

‘‘Deer are like any other wildlife,’’ Buhnerkempe said. ‘‘They are held in the public trust for all the citizens.’’

There were surveys for hunters and non-hunters to give their opinions. Those surveys will be online (dnr.illinois.gov) after the statewide open houses.

Even among hunters, there are different points of view, from meat hunters to trophy hunters.

‘‘We all have a baseline bias,’’ said Paul Shelton, forest-wildlife program manager. ‘‘We all look at things from our own portal.’’

But from a decade of research, Illinois has been successful at controlling and containing CWD.



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