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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
May 21, 2013 
CONTACTS:
Chris McCloud 
217-785-0075 
 
 
Hunters Bag 14,133 Birds During 2013 Illinois Spring Wild Turkey Season 
Cold and wet weather greeted turkey hunters for much of the season 
SPRINGFIELD, IL – Hunters in Illinois harvested a preliminary statewide total of 14,133 wild turkeys during the 2013 Spring Turkey Season, including the youth seasons.  The 2013 total compares with the statewide turkey harvest of 15,941 in 2012.  Hunters took a state-record 16,605 turkeys during the spring season in 2006.  Youth hunters took a second-highest season preliminary total of 923 birds, down from the 2012 record of 1,300 turkeys harvested.

Four new counties were opened for spring turkey hunting in Illinois for 2013 – Ford, Douglas, Kane and Lake.  This brings the total of counties open for spring turkey hunting to 100 of Illinois’ 102 counties.

Turkey hunters this spring took a preliminary total of 6,494 wild turkeys during all seasons in the South Zone, a decrease from the harvest of 7,006 last year in the south.  The North Zone total of 7,639 wild turkeys compares with last year’s total of 8,935 in the north.  During the 2006 record year, harvests were 6,530 in the south and 10,075 in the north.

“Many hunters commented on the cold and wet weather making hunting very difficult,” said Paul Brewer, Illinois Department of Natural Resources Wild Turkey Project Manager. “Breeding activity was delayed, and gobblers were not very responsive for much of the season.” 

As an example, in Jo Daviess County, typically one of the leading counties in spring turkey harvest, there was some rain or snow every day of the first five-day season segment.  For all five seasons combined (32 days) in Jo Daviess County, there was rain or snowfall on 20 days of the season, with wind gusts exceeding 20 mph on 21 days, as well. Statewide, the month of April was the fourth-wettest April on record in Illinois. 

“Cold and wet springs are typically not good for turkey production, and we have experienced those conditions for six of the last seven years,” Brewer added.  “The long term key in improving wild turkey populations continues to be habitat management, particularly restoration of open oak woodlands for nesting and brood rearing.”

The 2013 Spring Turkey seasons were April 8-May 9 for the South Zone and April 15-May 16 for the North Zone.  Youth Spring Turkey Seasons were March 30-31 in the South Zone and April 6-7 in the North Zone.  

The top five counties for spring wild turkey harvest in the South Zone in 2013 were Jefferson (411), Pope (360), Marion (344), and a tie for fourth with Randolph and Wayne (333).  The top five North Zone counties for spring turkey harvest this year were Jo Daviess (552), Pike (396), Fulton (328), Macoupin (293), and  Adams (290).

The table below includes the preliminary 2013 county-by-county spring turkey harvest results with comparable totals for 2012.  The table is also available at this link:
http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/news/Documents/SpringTurkeyHarvestTable2013.pdf


COUNTY 2012 2013
Adams 366 290
Alexander 119 115
Bond 154 158
Boone 75 69
Brown 242 205
Bureau 140 121
Calhoun 252 264
Carroll 222 229
Cass 246 215
Champaign 17 19
Christian 64 50
Clark 165 146
Clay 219 237
Clinton 114 80
Coles 49 36
Crawford 161 152
Cumberland 78 53
DeKalb 22 13
DeWitt 62 41
Douglas closed 13
Edgar 120 84
Edwards 103 104
Effingham 103 109
Fayette 268 246
Ford closed 14
Franklin 234 188
Fulton 404 328
Gallatin 123 106
Greene 190 175
Grundy 47 42
Hamilton 207 220
Hancock 230 185
Hardin 154 162
Henderson 168 127
Henry 82 75
Iroquois 75 56
Jackson 323 301
Jasper 141 93
Jefferson 468 411
Jersey 203 201
JoDaviess 638 552
Johnson 261 249
Kane closed 3
Kankakee 39 34
Kendall 18 10
Knox 241 207
Lake closed 1
LaSalle 123 101
Lawrence 127 117
Lee 81 87
Livingston 24 19
Logan 35 26
Macon 33 26
Macoupin 314 293
Madison 280 233
Marion 331 344
Marshall 86 58
Mason 194 164
Massac 92 97
McDonough 119 91
McHenry 60 44
McLean 77 66
Menard 117 97
Mercer 209 177
Monroe 170 166
Montgomery 158 159
Morgan 185 144
Moultrie 24 28
Ogle 192 167
Peoria 155 130
Perry 226 243
Piatt 15 8
Pike 452 396
Pope 380 360
Pulaski 140 111
Putnam 52 38
Randolph 332 333
Richland 124 121
Rock Island 207 176
Saline 145 129
Sangamon 90 85
Schuyler 269 179
Scott 85 67
Shelby 96 83
St. Clair 135 120
Stark 6 8
Stephenson 216 169
Tazewell 63 60
Union 290 294
Vermilion 157 122
Wabash 54 41
Warren 65 56
Washington 157 133
Wayne 386 333
White 166 136
Whiteside 185 167
Will 64 61
Williamson 319 252
Winnebago 191 155
Woodford 81 74
TOTAL 15,941 14,133



 
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