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Hunters in Illinois Harvested 13,500 Turkeys During 2018 Spring Turkey Season

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
CONTACTS:
Ed Cross
217-557-1240
 
 
Hunters in Illinois Harvested 13,500 Turkeys During 2018 Spring Turkey Season
SPRINGFIELD, IL – Hunters in Illinois harvested a preliminary statewide total of 13,500 wild turkeys during the 2018 Spring Turkey Season, including the youth season, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) announced today. The 2018 total compares with the statewide turkey harvest of 15,720 in 2017. The statewide preliminary total includes the Youth Turkey Season harvest of 1,139 birds, compared with the record youth harvest of 1,539 turkeys in 2017. 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 2018 season dates were April 9-May 10 in the South Zone and April 16-May 17 in the North Zone. The Youth Spring Turkey Season was March 31-April 1 and April 7-8. This was the second year the youth turkey season was open for two weekends statewide.

Turkey hunters this spring took a preliminary total of 5,514 wild turkeys during all season segments in the South Zone, compared with 6,842 last year in the south. The North Zone preliminary harvest total this year was 7,986 wild turkeys, compared with 8,878 in northern counties in 2017.

The top counties for spring wild turkey harvest in the South Zone in 2018 were Jefferson (362), Randolph (303), Jackson (287), Marion (269), and Pope (261). The top five North Zone counties for spring turkey harvest this year were Jo Daviess (584), Fulton (336), Adams (331), Pike (310), and Hancock (296).

Multiple factors likely contributed to the reduction in harvest totals this season.

“We anticipated some declines as a result of the poor production of young turkeys noted during our 2017 Brood Survey last summer,” said Luke Garver, IDNR Wild Turkey Program Manager. “Youth season hunters experienced cold and wet weather during both weekends in much of the state, and winter-like conditions continued into the early season segments in both the North and South zones.  It is not often Illinois turkey hunters can say they’ve had the opportunity to experience both snowfall and 90-degree weather in one season.”

The table below includes the preliminary 2018 county-by-county spring turkey harvest results with comparable totals for 2017:

County 2018 2017
Adams 331 395
Alexander 135 156
Bond 116 141
Boone 55 75
Brown 246 299
Bureau 182 163
Calhoun 194 239
Carroll 219 213
Cass 217 211
Champaign 17 26
Christian 38 51
Clark 160 181
Clay 189 219
Clinton 89 82
Coles 33 45
Cook 0 1
Crawford 178 210
Cumberland 44 48
DeKalb 16 16
DeWitt 38 54
Douglas 3 2
Edgar 65 80
Edwards 83 85
Effingham 99 117
Fayette 219 276
Ford 13 10
Franklin 147 166
Fulton 336 378
Gallatin 84 112
Greene 137 147
Grundy 66 56
Hamilton 194 252
Hancock 296 325
Hardin 92 134
Henderson 141 135
Henry 82 75
Iroquois 60 75
Jackson 287 359
Jasper 104 140
Jefferson 362 412
Jersey 163 187
Jo Daviess 584 610
Johnson 185 264
Kane 4 5
Kankakee 47 35
Kendall 16 18
Knox 262 274
Lake 6 1
LaSalle 126 117
Lawrence 129 141
Lee 86 116
Livingston 26 26
Logan 40 43
Macon 22 26
Macoupin 224 275
Madison 151 213
Marion 269 337
Marshall 60 82
Mason 167 154
Massac 86 103
McDonough 123 140
McHenry 87 82
McLean 71 68
Menard 84 101
Mercer 219 203
Monroe 134 157
Montgomery 139 188
Morgan 123 126
Moultrie 22 29
Ogle 182 214
Peoria 119 153
Perry 214 252
Piatt 9 8
Pike 310 404
Pope 261 348
Pulaski 104 114
Putnam 39 45
Randolph 303 349
Richland 90 113
Rock Island 191 202
Saline 88 123
Sangamon 111 133
Schuyler 256 277
Scott 57 98
Shelby 118 120
St. Clair 111 126
Stark 19 13
Stephenson 182 248
Tazewell 55 57
Union 247 359
Vermilion 124 133
Wabash 37 56
Warren 65 68
Washington 118 131
Wayne 260 317
White 139 169
Whiteside 156 162
Will 71 73
Williamson 210 309
Winnebago 167 185
Woodford 65 79
Total 13500 15720
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