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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 19) All youth hunters must have a non-hunting supervisor

  • 1st-Time Adult (someone who has 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.

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

2020 YOUTH season (two weekends - statewide):

March 28 & 29

April 4 & 5

2020 THIRD Season:

April 17 - 22 (south zone)

April 24 - April 29 (north zone)

2020 FOURTH Season:

April 23 - April 29 (south zone)

April 30 - May 6 (north zone)

 

How it works:

For YOUTH season:  Fill out the application linked above and send it to IRAP by February 28, 2020. 

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.

 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 county 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 Online Application linked above.

Beginning in 2019, hunters MUST fill out a survey after each hunt. Future hunting privileges are dependent on the return of your survey. For your convenience, an online survey is linked at the top of the page or click the link here.

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 are kept private from one another. We ask that the hunter not come in contact with the landowner, unless necessary.

 

IRAP access is provided through cooperation of private landowners

and the IL Dept. of Natural Resources.

Participating is this program is a special privilege.

Please be respectful, ethical and safe.

Leave site as you found it. Take ALL garbage with you.

Park vehicle in designated parking area.