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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 9, 2003

MORE PERMITS AVAILABLE FOR 2003 ILLINOIS MUZZLELOADER-ONLY DEER HUNTING SEASON

SPRINGFIELD, ILL. - The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is providing more hunting opportunity this fall for deer hunters using muzzleloading rifles, Director Joel Brunsvold announced today. The Department is making thousands of additional muzzleloader-only deer permits available for the 2003 season.

"With a healthy deer population throughout Illinois, we’re pleased to be able to boost the muzzleloader-only permit quota to meet what has been a growing demand," Brunsvold said. "This action will come as welcomed news to blackpowder hunters, who have been frustrated in recent years by not being able to draw a permit."

This is another important expansion of hunting opportunities for sportsmen being implemented this year. Last month Director Brunsvold announced that handguns will be allowed during the regular firearm season. Details on that program are expected to be announced soon.

Last year, the statewide muzzleloader-only permit quota was less than 7,000. This year, more than 20,000 permits are being made available statewide. Almost 13,000 either-sex permits and 5,000 antlerless-only permits remain for the random daily drawing period for muzzleloader-only permits that begins Sept. 15. All hunters, regardless of any deer permits they already may have received, are eligible to apply for muzzleloader-only permits during this drawing period.

The muzzleloader-only deer season in Illinois this year is Dec. 12-14. Hunters with muzzleloader-only permits may also use them during the second firearm deer season Dec. 4-7.

For more information or applications for muzzleloader-only deer permits, contact the Department’s permit office at 217/782-7305 or check the web site at http://dnr.state.il.us/admin/systems/index.htm

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