Turkey harvest down nearly 1/4: Both youth seasons in Illinois

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turkeybeard.jpg

A bearded turkey, the stuff of dreams in the spring for Illinois turkey hunters.
Credit: Dale Bowman

Turkey harvest over the two youth seasons in Illinois–March 31-April 1, April 7-8–was down nearly 25 percent from the spring of 2017. I suspect a good bit of that was due to the weather on both weekends.

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

A brief summary of the 2018 Illinois Youth Spring Turkey Season from the IDNR Division of Wildlife Resources: Youth turkey hunters harvested a preliminary total of 1,156 birds during the 2018 Illinois Youth Turkey Season. In 2017, a total of 1,531 turkeys were taken, marking a record harvest. Weather undoubtedly was a factor in this year’s decline in harvest as youth hunters experienced unseasonably cold temperatures throughout the four-day season. The dates for this year’s season were March 31-April 1 and April 7-8. This was the second year two youth turkey hunting weekends were open for the entire state. Previously, there was one weekend dedicated for the north zone and one for the south. This year, a total of 5,274 youth turkey permits were issued, including 106 permits for special hunt areas. In 2017, 5,601 permits were issued, including 106 for special hunt areas. The top 5 counties for harvest during this year’s youth season were Randolph (43), Jo Daviess (34), Adams (33), Fayette (33), and Jefferson (33).

The table below shows Illinois Youth Turkey Season preliminary harvest figures for both the north and south zones by county, with numbers from 2017 and 2018.

County20172018
Adams3533
Alexander1413
Bond218
Boone76
Brown2515
Bureau917
Calhoun2315
Carroll79
Cass2122
Champaign61
Christian13
Clark1115
Clay2412
Clinton1311
Coles63
Crawford1613
Cumberland65
Dekalb10
DeWitt77
Edgar33
Edwards911
Effingham1513
Fayette5033
Franklin1615
Fulton4121
Gallatin1216
Greene1316
Grundy40
Hamilton3322
Hancock2025
Hardin99
Henderson149
Henry510
Iroquois107
Jackson4129
Jasper116
Jefferson4433
Jersey2314
Jo Daviess2934
Johnson199
Kankakee41
Kendall10
Knox2922
LaSalle55
Lawrence1315
Lee188
Livingston13
Logan72
Macon40
Macoupin2826
Madison1811
Marion3927
Marshall55
Mason1510
Massac145
McDonough135
McHenry1111
McLean62
Menard117
Mercer1726
Monroe1412
Montgomery3014
Morgan1812
Moultrie20
Ogle2313
Peoria123
Perry2827
Pike5325
Pope178
Pulaski814
Putnam11
Randolph4043
Richland81
Rock Island1213
Saline239
Sangamon1011
Schuyler2717
Scott85
Shelby1312
St. Clair1117
Stark11
Stephenson1514
Tazewell66
Union4125
Vermilion118
Wabash61
Warren75
Washington2116
Wayne3026
White2816
Whiteside159
Will25
Williamson3717
Winnebago1313
Woodford73
TOTAL15311156
   


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