In Illinois, let’s go turkey hunting on private property
SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois Department of Natural Resources‘ Recreational Access Program has added adult turkey hunting to its growing list of activities on private land in Illinois.
Adult turkey hunting for the third and fourth season is available in Christian, Clark, Fayette, Greene, Macoupin, McDonough, Sangamon and Schuyler counties to any registered hunter. In addition, first-time adult turkey hunters — an individual that hasn’t hunted turkey in the past five years — may apply for Brown and Fulton counties in addition to those counties listed above.
Youth turkey hunters under the age of 18 may apply to hunt on private property for youth turkey season and season three and four in at least 35 counties across Illinois. And more good news: Youth season is now expanded to two weekends — March 25-26 and April 1-2 throughout the entire state.
To apply for an IRAP spring turkey hunting site, the hunter must go to IRAP’s website and download an application and liability waiver, complete and sign and mail to IDNR. Deadlines for applications are February 23 for youth season and March 10 for seasons three and four. In order to apply for seasons three and four, the applicant must first apply for a turkey permit through IDNR’s lottery system. Next lottery deadline is January 11.
“The Illinois Recreational Access Program is a wonderful opportunity for us to partner with private landowners to provide for much-needed access for hunting and other outdoor activities,” Illinois DNR Director Wayne Rosenthal said. “Landowners allow public access to their property in exchange for a minimal lease payment and a habitat management plan, but just as important, the landowner also receives assistance with habitat restoration of their property. It is an ideal public/private partnership that delivers positive results for everyone.”
To apply for a turkey permit through the IDNR lottery, visit https://www.dnr.illinois.gov/hunting/turkey/Pages/TurkeySeasonsDeadlinesAvailablePermits.aspx