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