Spring Turkey Season a Record Setter
Hunters harvested a total of 15,628 wild turkeys during the regular seasons conducted April 3-May 4 in the south zone and April 10-May 11 in the north zone. An additional 512 turkeys were harvested during the Youth Turkey Season conducted Mar. 25-26 in the south zone and April 1-2 in the north zone.
"The success of so many turkey hunters this spring is great news and is another indicator of how successful the turkey restoration program in Illinois has been," said Illinois Department of Natural Resources Acting Director Sam Flood. "Eleven years after the first reintroduction of wild turkeys to the state, harvest during the first modern turkey season in Illinois in 1970 was 25 birds. To top 16,000 this year shows that the wild turkey population is thriving and hunters are enjoying the opportunity."
Last year, hunters took 14,951 wild turkeys during the regular spring seasons and 458 during the youth hunt for a total harvest of 15,409 in 2005. In 2004, hunters harvested 15,066 turkeys during the regular spring seasons and 497 in the youth hunt for a total harvest of 15,563.
The top counties for spring turkey harvest in 2006 were Pike (708), Jo Daviess (564), Adams (560), Macoupin (468), Fulton (444), Calhoun (410), Schuyler (398), Pope (378), Hancock (375), and Marion (363). The county totals include regular and youth season preliminary harvest figures in each county.
Preliminary county-by-county spring turkey harvest results for each segment of the season (by zone) can be viewed here.