Turkey harvests affected as weather dampens opening of spring seasons

Springfield – Turkey hunters in the south zone fared better than
their northern counterparts during the opening weeks of the spring
season.

Cold and wet conditions are being blamed for a slow start in the
north zone, where hunters harvested 2,248 birds during the first
week, down from last year’s opening harvest of 2,510.

The opening day harvest of 417 was 279 birds less than last
year,_DNR biologist Paul Shelton said.

The top five counties during the first season were JoDaviess
(174), Pike (145), Adams (117), Fulton (116) and Hancock (84) and
Macoupin (84).

In the south zone, hunters produced slight increases in harvest
during both the first and second weeks of their spring seasons.
Hunters took 1,477 birds during the first season and 1,216 during
the second, compared to 1,430 and 1,151 last year,
respectively.

The top five counties through two week-long seasons were
Randolph (176), Pope (153), Union (142), Jefferson (139), and
Jackson (126).

Hunters in both zones were hoping for better conditions through
the remainder of the season.

The north zone third season was April 24-29. The fourth season
opened April 30 and runs through May 6, while the fifth and final
season is May 7-14.

The south zone’s fourth season was April 23-29, while its fifth
and final season opened April 30 and runs through May 7.

During spring seasons, hunters in Illinois are allowed one
gobbler or one hen with a visible beard per permit. There is a
limit of three turkeys with a valid permit for each.

Hunting hours are one-half hour before sunrise until 1 p.m.

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