The Martinez family from Homer Glen--Beto left, and sons Cristopher and Andres--put a face to the continued near-record pace of turkey hunting in Illinois this spring.
Beto bagged his jake and Andres his first tom before 6:45 a.m. on April 18 in Mercer County.
Here's the latest update from Paul Shelton:
After several weeks of near perfect weather, Illinois turkey hunters were reminded that spring weather is not always cooperative. Rain during last Friday, Saturday, and Sunday depressed harvest somewhat, but the season is still shaping up to be a good one.
South Zone turkey hunters harvested 1118 during their fourth season, second only to last year's 4th season harvest of 1179 birds. Through four seasons, south zone hunters have taken a total of 5500 birds, setting a record pace. Previous top harvest at this point in the South Zone season was in 2006, when 5023 turkeys were taken. Current top 5 counties are Pope (323), Jefferson (312), Union (291), Randolph (278), and Jackson (259).
North Zone hunters harvested 1439 birds during the third season, compared to 1581 last year. Total harvest of 6389 turkeys thru three seasons is second only to the record harvest of 6439 birds taken during 2006. Last year's harvest thru three seasons was 5716. Top five counties to date are JoDaviess (439), Pike (331), Fulton (300), Adams (270), and Schuyler (231).