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Spring turkey: Hunter harvest dropped by more than 2,000 birds in Illinois

Harvest during Illinois’ spring turkey season dropped by 2.448 birds from the 2020 spring harvest.

File photo of a turkey decoy at an Illinois public site. Credit: Dale Bowman
File photo of a turkey decoy at an Illinois public site.
Dale Bowman

Harvest by hunters during Illinois’ spring turkey season dropped by 2,244 birds from the 2020 spring harvest.

Yes, I do find it a little surprising that it dropped that much.

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

2021 Illinois Spring Wild Turkey Preliminary Harvest Totals 13,383

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Turkey hunters harvested a preliminary statewide total of 13,383 wild turkeys during the 2021 Illinois Spring Turkey Season. This year’s preliminary harvest total compares with the 2020 statewide turkey harvest of 15,831.

The statewide preliminary total includes the 2021 Youth Turkey Season harvest of 1,283 birds, which compares with the 2020 youth harvest of 1,733 turkeys (the record for youth season harvest). The statewide record total harvest for the spring turkey season was set in 2006 when 16,569 turkeys were harvested.

Spring turkey hunting was open in 100 of Illinois’ 102 counties. The 2021 season dates were April 5-May 6 in the South Zone and April 12-May 13 in the North Zone. The Youth Spring Turkey Season was March 27-28 and April 3-4 statewide.

The top five counties for spring wild turkey harvest in 2021 were Jefferson (421), Pike (353), Jo Daviess (352), Marion (332), and Wayne (298).

A table with county preliminary harvest totals for the 2021 Illinois Spring Turkey Season, and 2020 comparable harvest totals, is below.

County 2021 2020

ADAMS 271 321

ALEXANDER 150 142

BOND 128 159

BOONE 71 79

BROWN 217 244

BUREAU 149 170

CALHOUN 183 246

CARROLL 130 152

CASS 209 202

CHAMPAIGN 20 36

CHRISTIAN 38 41

CLARK 211 233

CLAY 220 264

CLINTON 84 116

COLES 46 45

CRAWFORD 176 217

CUMBERLAND 62 78

DEKALB 9 11

DEWITT 49 55

DOUGLAS 7 9

EDGAR 80 89

EDWARDS 78 93

EFFINGHAM 126 144

FAYETTE 263 284

FORD 16 19

FRANKLIN 176 203

FULTON 241 377

GALLATIN/HARDIN 191 221

GREENE 138 153

GRUNDY 53 59

HAMILTON 236 251

HANCOCK 252 327

HENDERSON 132 128

HENRY 106 110

IROQUOIS 78 84

JACKSON 276 329

JASPER 130 147

JEFFERSON 421 508

JERSEY 146 194

JODAVIESS 352 464

JOHNSON 219 197

KANE 0 3

KANKAKEE 44 47

KENDALL 9 14

KNOX 221 270

LAKE 6 10

LASALLE 110 102

LAWRENCE 138 163

LEE 83 85

LIVINGSTON 32 40

LOGAN 28 47

MCDONOUGH 124 129

MCHENRY 97 101

MCLEAN 62 65

MACON 25 36

MACOUPIN 222 319

MADISON 192 283

MARION 332 444

MARSHALL/PUTNAM 104 127

MASON 132 150

MASSAC 96 98

MENARD 74 108

MERCER 185 225

MONROE 139 166

MONTGOMERY 150 190

MORGAN 125 157

MOULTRIE 20 43

OGLE 152 147

PEORIA 112 136

PERRY 229 240

PIATT 10 5

PIKE 353 404

POPE 271 277

PULASKI 110 122

RANDOLPH 286 379

RICHLAND 106 151

ROCK ISLAND 152 217

SALINE 111 122

SANGAMON 105 116

SCHUYLER 183 249

SCOTT 68 93

SHELBY 128146

ST CLAIR 126 152

STARK 17 18

STEPHENSON 154 188

TAZEWELL 71 72

UNION 256 311

VERMILION 128 118

WABASH 39 56

WARREN 47 61

WASHINGTON 134 175

WAYNE 298 372

WHITE 176 188

WHITESIDE 106 116

WILL 73 43

WILLIAMSON 283 284

WINNEBAGO 143 169

WOODFORD 66 81

Total 13,383 15,831