Poor turkey brood survey number may be result of bad timing

With spring turkey season opening next Monday in the state's south zone (it'll open a week later in the north zone), hunters are once again expecting big things from the turkey woods.

Which stands as proof of the population's solid health.

Even disappointing reproduction doesn't seem to have any ill effect on the state's turkeys. Hunters took 14,999 last spring, a sizable jump from the spring of 2014.

Again this year DNR is saying that brood surveys indicate turkey reproduction was poor last spring. But Paul Shelton, DNR's wildlife program manager, told writer Les Winkeler that the poor survey numbers may be more a result of bad timing.

“We’'ve started getting a lot of reports from guys that know turkeys, they were talking about seeing a significant number of late broods,” Shelton said. “I did myself. We just wonder if our brood surveys are not missing those birds which would almost have to be re-nesting. Outside of the brood surveys, it did appear we got some pretty good late reproduction. I'’m hoping it is better and anticipating it is better than our surveys indicate.”

Check out Winkeler's full story on the upcoming season in the April issue of Illinois Outdoor News.

Categories: Import

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