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Turkey hunt down 14 percent

May 25, 2018

Hunters in Illinois harvested a preliminary statewide total of 13,500 wild turkeys during the 2018 spring turkey season, down more than 14 percent from the 15,720 total in spring of 2017.

The statewide record total is 16,569, set in 2006.

This year’s total includes the Youth Turkey Season harvest of 1,139 birds, down 400 from the 2017 total of 1,539 turkeys.

“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 winterlike conditions continued into the early season segments of 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.”

In Ford County, the last opened for turkey hunting, 13 birds were taken, up from 10; Grundy County was up to 66 from 56; Iroquois fell to 60 from 75; Kankakee increased to 47 from 35; Livingston matched the ’17 total of 26; and Will County fell to 71, down two.

JoDaviess County in the northwest corner of the state was tops, with 584 birds taken, down from 610 last year.