Illinois hunting: Turkey harvest up, slightly

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Spring when turkeys do what comes naturally.
Credit: Dale Bowman

Turkey hunters in Illinois harvested slightly more birds this spring than in 2015.

Here is the word from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources:

Illinois Spring Wild Turkey Season Harvest Totals 15,484 Birds SPRINGFIELD, IL – Hunters in Illinois harvested a preliminary statewide total of 15,484 wild turkeys during the 2016 Spring Turkey Season, including the youth seasons. The 2016 total compares with the statewide turkey harvest of 15,000 in 2015. The statewide preliminary total includes Youth Turkey Season harvest of 1,045 birds, compared with youth season harvest of 896 turkeys in 2015. Spring turkey hunting was open in 100 of Illinois’ 102 counties. The 2016 seasons were April 4-May 5 in the South Zone and April 11-May 12 in the North Zone. The Youth Spring Turkey Season was March 26-27 in the South Zone and April 2-3 in the North Zone. Turkey hunters this spring took a preliminary total of 6,694 wild turkeys during all season segments in the South Zone, a slight increase over the harvest of 6,387 last year in the south. The North Zone preliminary harvest total of 8,790 wild turkeys was also higher than the 2015 total of 8,613 in the north. This is the second consecutive year of improved harvest numbers in Illinois, said IDNR Forest Wildlife Biologist Paul Shelton. The 2014 spring season marked a low point in recent turkey harvest after a number of consecutive years of poor reproduction, particularly in the North Zone. We’re encouraged to see that harvest numbers are rebounding – numbers in the North Zone were almost 20 percent higher than in 2014. Harvest in west-central Illinois, which seems to have been most affected by poor reproduction in recent years, was about 30 percent higher than 2014 figures. The top counties for spring wild turkey harvest in the South Zone in 2016 were Jefferson (420), Marion (380), Randolph (372), Pope (356), and Union (354). The top five North Zone counties for spring turkey harvest this year were Jo Daviess (568), Fulton (446), Pike (393), Adams (389), and Schuyler (360). The table below includes the preliminary 2016 county-by-county spring turkey harvest results with comparable totals for 2015.

Illinois Spring Turkey Harvest – Preliminary Results
County20162015
Adams389389
Alexander134143
Bond135159
Boone7674
Brown357319
Bureau157171
Calhoun210201
Carroll195184
Cass213257
Champaign2226
Christian4152
Clark158170
Clay210165
Clinton86101
Coles3926
Crawford166135
Cumberland5459
DeKalb2113
DeWitt4552
Douglas65
Edgar8583
Edwards96109
Effingham86109
Fayette233224
Ford1012
Franklin152187
Fulton446401
Gallatin129120
Greene157165
Grundy5649
Hamilton234223
Hancock325259
Hardin145159
Henderson139144
Henry8293
Iroquois6063
Jackson313280
Jasper131128
Jefferson420433
Jersey187184
JoDaviess568601
Johnson278260
Kane21
Kankakee3436
Kendall1518
Knox267246
Lake13
LaSalle137115
Lawrence117110
Lee10096
Livingston1924
Logan3740
Macon2725
Macoupin303328
Madison241246
Marion380333
Marshall6969
Mason141143
Massac10399
McDonough137139
McHenry6268
McLean6354
Menard105114
Mercer192178
Monroe169162
Montgomery175183
Morgan147210
Moultrie2421
Ogle189191
Peoria153142
Perry233221
Piatt107
Pike393341
Pope356366
Pulaski9581
Putnam3746
Randolph372300
Richland106116
Rock Island191186
Saline125143
Sangamon110106
Schuyler360306
Scott7365
Shelby11795
St. Clair140112
Stark65
Stephenson231255
Tazewell6570
Union354312
Vermilion136119
Wabash4849
Warren7566
Washington149131
Wayne297271
White153120
Whiteside160152
Will5153
Williamson308280
Winnebago175164
Woodford10381
Total1548415000


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