Sunday, February 5th, 2023
Sunday, February 5th, 2023

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

Spring turkey hunters hold on to five weeks

Springfield – Coming off the second-best harvest on record,
spring turkey hunters look at the 2009 season dates with a mix of
grins and grimaces.

Five one-week seasons are “just fine” to some, while others were
hoping to see an extra week tagged on in mid-May.

The spring seasons kick off April 6 in the south zone and April
13 in the north zone. Hunters who missed the Dec. 1 deadline for
the first permit lottery will have until Jan. 12 to apply for the
second permit lottery, which is open to first-time applicants,
non-residents and applicants rejected during the first lottery.

During the 2008 spring season, turkey hunters bagged 15,792
bearded birds – better than the 2007 total of 14,766. The
state-record harvest was recorded in 2006, when spring hunters took
16,605 birds.

In 2008, spring hunters took 15,159 during the regular seasons,
and an additional 633 during the youth season.

Dividing the state, north zone hunters harvested a total of
9,505 birds in 2008 (8,641 in 2007), while south zone hunters took
6,287 (6,125 in 2007).

The top five north zone counties in 2008 were JoDaviess (568),
Pike (552), Adams (507), Fulton (415) and Macoupin (399).

The top five south zone counties were Marion (347), Randolph
(344), Pope (329) , Wayne (303) and Jefferson (299).

For hunters who aren’t successful in the second permit lottery,
a third lottery – open to anyone who does not have a permit or has
one permit – has a Feb. 9 deadline. After that, random daily
drawings will begin March 9.

Applications can be found at

The bag limits for 2009 will be one male turkey or one hen with
a visible beard per permit. The limit will be three turkeys.

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