Hunters in Illinois took almost 16,000 wild turkeys this season. The preliminary total of 15,941 is up slightly from 2011 (15,121). Biologists and DNR representatives attribute great weather as a primary success factor. “Excellent hunting weather made for a strong start to the 2012 season, with a preliminary record of 1,300 wild turkeys harvested during the youth season,” said Paul Brewer, Illinois Department of Natural Resources Wild Turkey Project Manager. “High early season harvest and progression into the later part of the wild turkey breeding season contributed to harvest declines in the later part of the season. We are hopeful that the excellent spring weather this year will help turkeys rebound in some areas where populations have declined somewhat. The long term key in improving wild turkey populations will be habitat management, particularly for nesting and brood rearing habitat.” Totals include the youth season, which set a new Illinois Youth Season record almost doubling the number of birds taken in 2011.
For a harvest breakdown by county, visit IDNR website HERE.
Another great resource for turkey hunters is the National Wild Turkey Federation. Visit their site HERE!
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