The figures for the 2006 Illinois Firearm Deer Harvest show a decent increase in the number of deer harvested this year in Williamson County.
Hunters took out 1,330 during the first season and 678 in the second season for a total of 2,008. That's up from 2005 when they only bagged 1,884.
Williamson County ranked 15th this year overall. We were 14th last year.
Pike County in western Illinois remains the champ with 3,795 deer harvested. Neighboring Adams County came in second with 3,061.
Here in the region we were beat by Jackson at 2,596, Jefferson at 2,710, Marion at 2,218, Pope at 2,218 and Randolph at 2,763, Union at 2,127 and Wayne at 2,032.
Some of the differences can be explained simply by geography, Jefferson and Marion are 33 percent larger than Williamson. In the region, all but Pope County are larger than us.
Still, one of the reasons for Pike and Adams Counties' success is in part a well-developed system of hunting leases for private lands. In going through the old files I found a proposal about a decade old to do something similar here in Williamson. I'm not an expert in hunting, but it's something we will definitely look into as we work on a county-wide Tourism Development Plan.