University of Illinois Extension

IDNR Special Deer Control or Removal Permits

Deer removal permits (DRPs) are issued to help landowners in their efforts to abate deer-related damage that is currently occurring; DRPs are not for deer population reduction or control. Deer population control permits (DPCPs) are issued to help reduce the potential for future deer damage by reducing deer numbers in a given area.

Deer Removal Permits (DRPs)

DRPs are issued to individuals, organizations or agencies to authorize the removal of individual deer causing excessive damage at that time of year when damage is actively occurring. These permits are issued to assist landowners in abating deer-related damage. They are not issued for deer population reduction and control. DRPs are issued to augment other deer-damage abatement techniques currently used by the landowner.

There is no application form for a DRP, but a site-evaluation must be performed by an IDNR biologist to document or verify the occurrence and extent of deer damage.

DRPs are generally issued for properties not incorporated within municipal boundaries unless the municipality will grant the permittee a waiver of any pertinent firearm ordinances. However, DRPs can be issued to a municipality.

DRPs are issued for a maximum of 30 days and 10 deer. Permit extensions are possible, but these permits are not for deer population control.

Permittee can specify up to two shooters on a permit. Shooters must have a valid Illinois Firearms Owner’s Identification (FOID) card and must carry a copy of the DRP when afield. There is no proficiency testing of shooters on a DRP, and the safe conduct by shooters is the responsibility of the permittee. The IDNR permit issuer may further restrict allowable removal activities to insure public safety. DRPs will not authorize the use of archery equipment, handguns or muzzle-loading rifles.

IDNR recommends that deer collected under authority of a DRP be used for human consumption, but carcass disposition is at the discretion of the permittee. Disposition must comply with provisions of the Illinois Dead Animal Disposition Act (i.e. burial or incineration).

Permittee must return the carcass disposition report form (on the back of the permit) and any unused leg tags within 10 days after permit expiration.

Deer Population Control Permits (DPCPs)

DPCPs are issued to agencies, organizations, associations and municipalities, but are not issued to individual landowners. These permits authorize the reduction or control of deer numbers by non-traditional or non-hunting methods.

There is an application process for DPCPs, and the application is essentially a deer management proposal which documents the need for deer herd reduction by nontraditional means such as sharpshooting. The prevailing objectives for most current deer control programs under DPCPs are to: reduce damage to native plant communities or ecosystems, reduce deer-vehicle accidents on the property or adjacent roads, and reduce damage complaints from residents or neighbors.

DPCPs are issued for a maximum of 90 days (time extensions are possible). There is no limit on the number of deer that can be taken, but the number proposed to be collected must be justified and documented.

If the permit applicant is proposing to take deer at bait stations via sharpshooters, all sharpshooter candidates must be tested and seasonally-approved by IDNR prior to deer program implementation. There is no limit on the number of sharpshooters, but all sharpshooters, who are Illinois residents, must also have a valid Illinois Firearms Owner’s Identification (FOID) card. Also to insure public safety, all proposed shooting or bait sites must be viewed and approved by IDNR prior to their use.

Lethal techniques authorized under DPCPs must be such that the resulting deer carcasses are suitable for human consumption. The permittee is required to have all usable deer carcasses processed at a State or Federally-licensed and inspected meat processing facility and to donate the processed venison to a bonafide charitable organization. Unusable deer carcasses must be disposed of in accordance with the Illinois Dead Animal Disposal Act.

Since deer collected under DPCPs must be used for human consumption, most DPCP programs take place during the cooler late fall and winter months (November to March).

DPCPs will not authorize the use of archery equipment, handguns, muzzle-loading rifles, etc. Only modern rifles or shotguns will be permitted for sharpshooting programs. DPCPs will not be issued for experimental techniques (e.g. sterilization or immunocontraception) or for the live-capture and translocation of deer.

Permittee must return all unused leg tags along with a deer removal summary within 30 days after permit expiration. The removal summary must list the tag number, location, sex, age and physical condition of each animal collected as well as the total amount of processed venison donated to charity (and to which charities).

The permittee is responsible for all costs associated with the deer reduction or control program.

For more information about applying for a DPCP, contact Marty Jones, IDNR Urban Deer Project Manager, at (847) 798-7620.