IDNR Reports Successful Spring Turkey Season

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Hunters in Illinois harvested a preliminary total of 14,968 wild turkeys during the spring turkey season that concluded last week. The preliminary total fell just short of last year’s record-setting statewide harvest of 15,066 birds.

Cold, rainy weather may have contributed to the lower harvests reported during the first portion of the south zone season and the middle segment of the north zone season. This year’s spring turkey seasons were April 4-May 5 in the south zone and April 11-May 12 in the north zone.

The top five counties for spring turkey harvest for 2005 were all in the north zone: Pike (632), Jo Daviess (611), Adams (483), Fulton (409), and Macoupin (403). The top five counties in the south zone for the 2005 spring season were Pope (355), Jefferson (344), Randolph (326), Marion (319), and Jackson (270).

An additional 458 turkeys were taken during this spring’s Youth Turkey Hunt, compared with a harvest of 497 birds during the youth hunt in 2004.

A total of 96 counties in Illinois were open to turkey hunting this spring.