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WNIJ's summary of news items around our state.

Firearm Deer-Hunting Season Underway

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Firearm deer-hunting season started this weekend in Illinois, and state authorities urge hunters to be safe.

The next half of the season begins early next month. Hunting hours are between a half-hour before sunrise and a half-hour after sunset.  

Illinois Department of Natural Resources officials say this is the year’s busiest hunting season.  

IDNR reports there were a total of 21 hunting accidents in the state last year. About three-quarters of them happened while hunting deer, and two of those cases involved firearms. 

About half of the incidents involved falling tree stands. The IDNR says hunters should secure themselves with harnesses while using tree stands.  

They also remind hunters to always assume a gun is loaded.