Turkey hunters in the north continue to report birds stopping talking when they are out of the trees. And the weather has not helped either for the first few days of the north zone turkey hunt in Illinois, so it is down so far. The south zone is up a bit.
Here's the early word from Paul Shelton, forest wildlife program manager.
The South Zone has seen slight increases in harvest during both the first and second segments of the spring turkey seasons. Hunters took 1477 birds during first season and 1216 during the second (1430 and 1151 last year, respectively). Top five counties thru 2 complete seasons are Randolph (176), Pope (153), Union (142), Jefferson (139), and Jackson (126). I've attached a spreadsheet with all county totals by season for the south zone.
As expected, the North Zone got off to a slow start on Monday (4/13) with cold weather and rainy conditions prevailing. The first day harvest was 417, down 40% from last year's opener of 696. Weather conditions were significantly better Wednesday through Friday, so hunter success should improve during that period. Through 4 days of hunting, the zone harvest stood at 1728, compared to last year's 2057. Top five counties after four days were JoDaviess (156), Pike (120), Adams (89), Fulton (86), and Calhoun (67).