With the historic rains of April, Illinois' turkey harvest
is well behind last year's near-record pace.
Here's the latest update from wild turkey project manager Paul Brewer:
Rain and more rain continues to impact the 2011 spring turkey harvest, with additional rain in the short term forecast. Based on preliminary data from the Illinois state climatologist, this year's statewide average rainfall for April (as of April 29th ) was 7.45 inches, beating the old record of 7.13 inches set in 1957. Statewide records go back to 1895. April rainfall has been heaviest in southern Illinois with several areas reporting over 10 inches of rain.
The South Zone 4th season ended on April 27th, with a total of fourth season harvest of 866 birds. This brings the preliminary total harvest for the South Zone up to 4,991, compared to 5,500 for the same period last year. Even with the difficult conditions, this season's harvest is still approximately 1% above the previous 5- year average for the South Zone. Top 5 harvest counties were Jefferson (306), Pope (298), Union (263), Randolph (247), and Jackson (235). See attached table of county results.
The North Zone 3rd season also ended on April 27th, with harvest totaling 1,369 wild turkeys. The preliminary total harvest for the North Zone is now 5, 656 through three seasons, compared to 6, 387 for this time period last year. This year's harvest through the 3rd season is approximately 6% below the previous 5-year average for the North Zone. Leading harvest counties were JoDaviess (403), Pike (354), Adams and Fulton (285), Macoupin (218), and Calhoun (213).