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|