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Illinois Hunting: Fall firearm turkey harvest going down

Turkey harvest in the fall firearm season continues

its slide, not because of turkey populations but because of changing interests.

Here’s the word from wild turkey project manager Paul Brewer:

The nine-day fall firearm wild turkey season (October 22-30) concluded with a preliminary harvest of 638 birds, down 11% from last year’s preliminary harvest figure of 716. This continues a long term trend in both declining harvest and participation in fall turkey hunting, with many hunters choosing to concentrate on archery deer hunting during this time period. The number of permits allocated this year was approximately 14% fewer than in the previous year.

Six new counties were opened for fall firearm hunting this year, with a preliminary total of 40 wild turkeys being harvested in these 6 counties (Clay-5, Franklin-11, Hamilton-13, Menard-5, Washington-2, and White-4).

The top 5 counties for firearm wild turkey harvest were JoDaviess (53), Jefferson (44), Wayne(42), Marion (35) and Pope (32).