Illinois hunting: Turkey harvest improving

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Better weather has helped to up turkey harvest in recent days, but a record seems highly unlikely in Illinois.

Here’s the latest from wild turkey program manager Paul Brewer:

Total statewide average April rainfall for Illinois stands at 7.33 inches, 191% of the normal April average of 3.83 inches. Preliminary Turkey Harvest Updates South Zone: Aided by a few days of good weather, the South Zone’s fifth and final season concluded May 5th with 1,180 birds being harvested during the fifth season. This compares to 1,113 birds for the same period last year. This brings the preliminary South Zone total for 2011 to 6,171 wild turkeys harvested compared to 6,613 for 2010 (-6.7%). The 2011 preliminary harvest nearly equals the 5 -year average harvest of 6,173. Top counties at the end of the season were Jefferson (382), Pope (350), Union (311), Randolph (302), and Wayne (294). See attached table of preliminary county harvests. North Zone: Improved conditions showed hunters harvesting 1,407 turkeys during the North Zone’s fourth season which concluded on May 4th. This compares to a similar harvest of 1,433 birds for this period in 2010. The preliminary North Zone total harvest now stands at 7,063, compared to 7,822 after four seasons last year (-9.7%). North Zone harvest is approximately 6% behind the previous 5-year average of 7,508 for four seasons. Top 5 counties were JoDaviess (471), Pike (439), Fulton (354), Adams (346), and Macoupin (275). County harvest results are attached.

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