Record Harvest for 2004 Spring Turkey Season

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Hunters in Illinois wrapped up another successful spring wild turkey hunting season last week with a record-setting harvest, taking a preliminary statewide total 15,066 turkeys, compared with a statewide harvest of 14,627 birds during the 2003 spring season.

Hunters in north zone counties and special hunt areas harvested a preliminary total of 9,278 wild turkeys, compared with the 2003 north zone harvest of 8,979, while the preliminary harvest total in the south zone was 5,788 turkeys, compared with the 2003 south zone harvest of 5,648.

The top five counties for spring turkey harvest for 2004 were all in the north zone: JoDaviess (696), Pike (620), Adams (502), Fulton (437), and Macoupin (401). The top five counties in the south zone for the 2004 spring season were Pope (352), Jefferson (339), Marion (312), Randolph (304), and Union (290).

An additional 498 turkeys were taken during this spring’s Youth Turkey Hunt, compared with a youth-season harvest of 347 birds in 2003.

A total of 96 counties were open to turkey hunting this spring. The IDNR issued more than 68,000 permits for the 2004 spring turkey season.