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

First-time Adult turkey hunting

The Basics


Who:  First-time adult turkey hunting is for any licensed hunter age 18 and over, who has never hunted turkey or has not hunted turkey in the past five years.  In addition, the hunter will need a valid license and habitat stamp, a FOID card and if the applicant was born in or after 1980, they will need to have completed a hunter safety course.

Where:  IRAP has leased turkey hunting sites from private landowners in several Illinois counties.  The majority of the sites are at least 40 acres and have been evaluated for turkey activity to provide the highest possibility for a good hunting experience.  Click here for a map of counties with available sites.  Adult Turkey Map.

When: Leased sites are available for only 3rd and 4th spring turkey season:


     2016 Spring 3rd Season:

    • April 15-20 (south zone)
    • April 22-27 (north zone) 

     2016 Spring 4th Season:

    •  April 21-27 (south zone)
    • May 1-7 (north zone)

How: Applications are taken from November up until 30 days prior to the regular spring season you are applying for.  The applicant must first obtain a county specific turkey permit through the IDNR permit system (lottery). 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 are awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis when a complete application is received from the applicant.

Successful applicants will receive a packet of information, including an IRAP parking and site permit, a map and directions to the site.

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.