Illinois turkeys: Harvest numbers for spring hunting up, despite season-long closure of IDNR sites

Illinois turkey hunters harvested more birds this spring than last season, even with the IDNR sites being closed all season.

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File photo of two turkeys in the field. Credit: Dale Bowman

File photo of two turkeys in the field.

Dale Bowman

Harvest numbers for spring turkey hunting in Illinois were strong in 2020 and ahead of the harvest of last year, even with all Illinois Department of Natural Resources sites being closed the entire season.

Here is the word the IDNR:

Illinois 2020 Spring Wild Turkey Preliminary Harvest Totals 15,800 Birds SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Illinois turkey hunters harvested a preliminary statewide total of 15,800 wild turkeys during the 2020 Spring Turkey Season. This year’s preliminary harvest total compares with the 2019 statewide turkey harvest of 15,190. The statewide preliminary total includes the 2020 Youth Turkey Season harvest of 1,744 birds, a record total, and compares with the 2019 youth harvest of 1,392 turkeys. The statewide record total was set in 2006 when 16,569 turkeys were harvested. Spring turkey hunting was open in 100 of Illinois’ 102 counties. The 2020 season dates were April 6-May 7 in the South Zone and April 13-May 14 in the North Zone. The Youth Spring Turkey Season was March 28-29 and April 4-5 statewide. Spring turkey hunting was suspended at Illinois Department of Natural Resources sites during the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Turkey hunters this spring took a preliminary total of 6,285 wild turkeys during all regular season segments in the South Zone, compared with 5,959 last year in the south. The preliminary harvest total for all regular season segments in the North Zone this year was 7,771 wild turkeys, compared with 7,832 in northern counties in 2019. The top five counties for spring wild turkey harvest in 2020 were Jefferson (508), Jo Daviess (464), Marion (444), Pike (404), and Randolph (379). A table with county preliminary harvest totals for the 2020 Illinois Spring Turkey Season, and 2019 comparable harvest totals, is below.

Illinois Spring Turkey Season Harvest County Totals

County 2020 2019

ADAMS 321 331

ALEXANDER 142 163

BOND 159 153

BOONE 79 66

BROWN 244 227

BUREAU 170 212

CALHOUN 246 201

CARROLL 152 179

CASS 202 254

CHAMPAIGN 36 20

CHRISTIAN 41 53

CLARK 233 179

CLAY 264 232

CLINTON 116 111

COLES 45 50

CRAWFORD 217 227

CUMBERLAND 78 64

DEKALB 11 12

DEWITT 55 42

DOUGLAS 9 7

EDGAR 89 80

EDWARDS 93 98

EFFINGHAM 144 120

FAYETTE 284 259

FORD 19 9

FRANKLIN 203 183

FULTON 377 402

GALLATIN/HARDIN 221 224

GREENE 153 170

GRUNDY 59 56

HAMILTON 251 227

HANCOCK 327 344

HENDERSON 128 142

HENRY 110 108

IROQUOIS 84 80

JACKSON 329 295

JASPER 147 136

JEFFERSON 508 480

JERSEY 194 169

JODAVIESS 464 542

JOHNSON 197 220

KANE 3 1

KANKAKEE 47 51

KENDALL 14 17

KNOX 270 265

LAKE 10 5

LASALLE 102 115

LAWRENCE 163 128

LEE 85 90

LIVINGSTON 38 34

LOGAN 47 39

MACON 36 36

MACOUPIN 319 270

MADISON 283 220

MARION 444 328

MARSHALL/PUTNAM 127 108

MASON 150 182

MASSAC 98 83

MCDONOUGH 129 149

MCHENRY 101 86

MCLEAN 65 62

MENARD 108 98

MERCER 224 234

MONROE 166 141

MONTGOMERY 190 162

MORGAN 157 130

MOULTRIE 43 36

OGLE 147 165

PEORIA 136 139

PERRY 240 218

PIATT 5 14

PIKE 404 383

POPE 277 310

PULASKI 122 107

RANDOLPH 379 383

RICHLAND 151 117

ROCK ISLAND 217 203

SALINE 122 102

SANGAMON 116 124

SCHUYLER 249 239

SCOTT 93 101

SHELBY 146 118

ST CLAIR 152 140

STARK 18 13

STEPHENSON 188 184

TAZEWELL 72 77

UNION 311 310

VERMILION 118 127

WABASH 56 58

WARREN 61 61

WASHINGTON 175 144

WAYNE 372 303

WHITE 188 139

WHITESIDE 116 162

WILL 43 80

WILLIAMSON 284 249

WINNEBAGO 169 169

WOODFORD 81 63

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