Turkey hunters bump their harvests slightly
Hunters killed 1,330 turkeys during the 2012-13 archery and shotgun seasons. That's a few birds more than the 2011-12 harvest of 1,316.
“We are hopeful that the drier spring last year produced a better hatch,” Paul Brewer, DNR's Wild Turkey Project Manager, said. “Our brood counts were down slightly, but reports from the field have indicated a good year for reproduction. Broods were difficult to observe as crops were planted and grew quickly early last spring. Later in the spring when temperatures soared, young turkeys seemed to remain in the shaded areas where they were not as easy to see.”
Fall firearms harvest dropped almost 7 percent, likely due to greater interest in deer hunting during the fall, Brewer noted. Fall archery harvest for wild turkeys increased more than 8 percent.
According to DNR, the top five firearm counties for fall turkey harvest were Jo Daviess (73), Pope (34), Jefferson (34), Union (32) and Williamson (32). The top five archery counties for fall turkey harvest were Fulton (27), Jefferson (26), Peoria (24), Jo Daviess (23), and Cass and Ogle (19 each).
The more-popular spring turkey seasons open in April.