Illinois Recreational Access Program expands youth turkey hunting opportunities
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) today announced it is extending the application deadline for the Illinois Recreational Access Program (IRAP) youth turkey hunting program on IRAP-leased sites. The original deadline was February 13 and it has been extended to February 29 for the Spring Youth Wild Turkey Season and March 14 for turkey seasons 3 and 4.
“We have been so successful in leasing property in IRAP’s first year that we have more sites than anticipated. We want to make sure we give young turkey hunters every opportunity to participate,” said IRAP Program Manager Tammy Miller “The IRAP program now has nearly 7,000 acres enrolled from private landowners in just a little over three months.”
Through IRAP, the counties that are currently available for youth (under 16) to spring turkey hunt in are: Adams, Lee, Bureau, Woodford, McLean, Iroquois, McDonough, Fulton, Schuyler, Mason, Pike, Scott, Morgan, Sangamon, Christian, Macoupin, Bond and Monroe.
Three spring turkey seasons in 2012 will be available for youth hunters through IRAP:
• Spring Youth Season, which gives the kids a head start on turkey season, will run March 31- April 1 (Southern Zone) and April 7-8 (Northern Zone)
• Season 3, April 21-April 25 (Southern Zone) and April 27-May 2 (Northern Zone)
• Season 4, April 26-May 2 (Southern Zone) and May 3-May 9 (Northern Zone)
Interested youth turkey hunters should download an application for an IRAP Youth Turkey Hunting site through the IDNR website at http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/conservation/IRAP
Youth hunters can request up to IRAP two turkey permits for the upcoming spring season. For example, they can request to hunt the Spring Youth Turkey Season and Season 4.
Other public access activities for which IRAP is leasing property are:
• To allow for fishing in ponds, rivers and streams, creating more places for families to fish.
• Creating additional access points along public rivers to enhance access by non-motorized watercraft
• To have places for nature lovers to explore, bird-watch and photograph wildlife.
IRAP’s goal is to promote outdoor activities for youth and families in hopes of educating and recruiting additional outdoor enthusiasts, as well as to expand public access throughout the state.
For more information on IRAP, contact Tammy Miller at email@example.com
or go to IRAP’s website at http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/conservation/IRAP