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

Turkey Hunting

The Basics
Who:  Youth (under age 18) and Adults who have a valid license and habitat stamp, a FOID card and, if the applicant was born in 1980 or after, will need to have completed a hunter safety course.
 
Where:  IRAP has leased turkey hunting sites from private landowners in 35 Illinois counties.  The majority of 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. 
Sites are hunter-specific.  IRAP has three groups of hunters:
·         YOUTH (under age 18)
·         First-Time Adult (not have hunted turkey in past five years)
·         Adult (any qualified hunter)
Click here for a map of counties with available sites.  IRAP Turkey Hunting Map.
 
When: Leased sites are available for YOUTH season:
**2017 new rule – 2 weekends for youth…statewide
          March 25-26
          April 1-2
And 3rd and 4th spring turkey season:
      2016 Spring 3rd Season:
April 14-19 (south zone)
April 21-26 (north zone) 
     2016 Spring 4th Season:
       April 20-26 (south zone)
       April 27 - May 3 (north zone)
 
How: Applications are taken from November up until 30 days prior to spring season you are applying for.  For youth season, the young hunter 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.
For spring season 3 and 4, 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 – only certain county sites allow youth and/or adult hunting. The link can be found HERE.  Once the applicant receives his or her turkey permit, then immediately fill out the IRAP First-Time Adult Turkey Application and Liability Waiver and mail to:
IDNR - IRAP Turkey Application
Attn: Tammy Miller
One Natural Resources Way
Springfield, IL 62702
Additional Information
*If you, the hunter, would like to have an adult mentor to accompany you during your hunt, it is acceptable as long as the mentor:
·         Is listed on your IRAP application
·         signs a liability waiver (attachment B)
·        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.
 
*The hunter's and the landowner's identity is kept private from one another and the hunter should not come in contact with the landowner, unless necessary.
 
https://wwwdnr.partner.illinois.gov/conservation/IRAP/Documents/2017_IRAP_Turkey_site_availability.pdf