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  1. Illinois DNR
  2. Conservation
  3. Illinois Recreational Access Program

Turkey Hunting

The Basics


Who can apply:  Any legally licensed hunter who has completed their hunter safety course (if born in 1980 or after) and who complies with all Illinois hunting laws.
  •  Youth (under age 18)  All youth hunters must have a non-hunting supervisor
  •  1st-Time Adult (18 years or older and have not hunted turkey in past five years)
  •  Adult (any qualified hunter)

Where:  IRAP has leased 15,000 acres for turkey hunting from private landowners in 39 Illinois counties.  Most the sites are at least 40 acres and all have been evaluated for turkey activity to provide the highest possibility for a good hunting experience.


 New 2019 Adult and Youth Sites Available!

Click here to see the MAP of counties that have youth and adult turkey hunting sites.

When: IRAP leases turkey hunting acres for youth season and seasons 3 & 4 only.

                    2019 YOUTH season (two weekends - statewide): 
                           March 30 & 31 
                           April 6 & 7
                   2019 THIRD Season:
                          April 19 - 24 (south zone)
                          April 26 - May 1 (north zone)

As of February 14th, 2019 the following Counties are FULL fo Season Three:

  • Lee County
  • Menard County
                   2019 FOURTH Season:
                         April 25 - May 1 (south zone)
                         May 2 - May 8 (north zone)
As of February 14th, 2019 the following Counties are FULL fo Season Four:
  • Knox County
  • Menard County
Click here to access the APPLICATION for Turkey Hunting Spring 2019 is available

Apply to IRAP.  Lottery will be held 4 weeks before start of youth season.  Successful applicants will receive confirmation from IRAP within 3 weeks of the hunting dates. Once IRAP has confirmed a site, then the youth hunter can purchase an over-the counter youth turkey permit.

, the applicant must first obtain a county specific turkey permit through the IDNR permit system (lottery). Please look at the IRAP turkey site availability map (above) – only certain county sites allow youth and/or adult hunting. Once the applicant receives his or her IDNR turkey permit, then immediately fill out the IRAP Turkey Application and mail to:

Additional Information
**If you, the hunter, would like to have an adult mentor to accompany you during your hunt, it is acceptable if the mentor:
  • is listed on your IRAP application
  • signs a liability waiver (attachment B)
  • completes Adult/Mentor authorization form (attachment C)
  • does NOT hunt or carry a firearm or bow
  • has a valid hunting license
**Hunting sites for seasons 3 & 4 are awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis, when a complete application is received from the applicant with a county specific permit number.

 **Successful applicants will receive a packet of information, including an IRAP parking and site permit, a map and directions to the site approximately 3 weeks before the start of the season applying for.

 **You may apply and hunt up to 3 seasons/sites per year on IRAP property.

**You are required to complete and return a survey about your hunting experience.

 **The hunter's and the landowner's identity is kept private from one another. We ask that the hunter not come in contact with the landowner, unless necessary.