University of Illinois Extension

Controlling White-tailed Deer Damage

White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) are protected under the Wildlife Code as a game species. It is illegal to take live deer from the wild unless you have received a permit from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) or are a wildlife rehabilitator who is licensed by the IDNR. A person who hits and kills a deer with a motorized vehicle can legally claim the deer to salvage the meat, hide, and antlers.

If the deer damage is:

Property ownership:

Deer Removal Permit (DRP)

DRPs are generally issued for properties that are not incorporated within municipal boundaries. They may be issued in incorporated areas if the property owner has received a written waiver of any pertinent firearm ordinances from the municipality. If the property is not within municipal boundaries, the landowner (or tenant) should contact the local IDNR District Wildlife Biologist to request a DRP. If the property is incorporated, contact the municipality first.

Read more about DRPs

Deer Population Control Permit (DPCP)

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 by nontraditional / non-hunting methods. Contact the local Illinois Department of Natural Resources District Wildlife Biologist for more information about the application process for DPCPs.

Municipalities may also be issued DRPs to control deer damage. For more information, contact an IDNR District Wildlife Biologist.

Read more about DPCPs

Hunting season:

During Hunting Season

Controlling deer numbers by allowing hunting during all legal statewide deer hunting seasons can reduce deer-related damage. State hunting regulations must be followed.

More information on hunting regulations

Illinois Department of Natural Resources Hunting Digest

Outside the Hunting Season

Control outside of the hunting season, or in situations where hunting is not allowed, requires a deer removal permit issued by an IDNR District Wildlife Biologist.