Illinois hunters bagged 1,444 fewer turkeys than last year, most likely because of the cold and wet April.
Here's the word from the IDNR:
Hunters Bag 15,121 Birds During 2011 Illinois Spring Wild Turkey Season
Wettest April on record contributed to lower harvest totals
SPRINGFIELD -Hunters in Illinois harvested a preliminary statewide total of 15,121 wild turkeys during the 2011 Spring Turkey Season. The 2011 total compares with the statewide turkey harvest of 16,565 in 2010. Hunters took a state-record 16,605 turkeys during the spring season in 2006.
Hunters this spring took a preliminary total of 6,469 wild turkeys during all seasons in the South Zone, a decrease from the harvest of 6,916 last year in the south. The North Zone total of 8,652 wild turkeys compares with last year's total of 9,649 in the north. Harvests during the 2006 record year were 6,530 in the south and 10,075 in the north. All results include harvest during the Youth Turkey Seasons.
"This year's wild turkey season will probably be best remembered for being the wettest April in recorded history," said Paul Brewer, Illinois Department of Natural Resources Wild Turkey Project Manager. "Hunters did well on days when the weather was cooperative, but those days were few and far between. We are certainly hopeful for some better weather during the remainder of this spring and into early summer."
In spite of the 93 percent increase in average rainfall statewide, harvest was down only five percent from the previous five-year average. Flood conditions and weather during the next several weeks will be an important factor affecting nesting success.
The 2011 Spring Turkey seasons were April 4-May 5 in the South Zone and April 11-May 12 in the North Zone. Youth Spring Turkey seasons were March 26-27 in the South Zone and April 2-3 in the North Zone.
The top five counties for turkey harvest in the South Zone this spring were Jefferson (402), Pope (356), Union (324), Randolph (321), and Wayne (314).
The top five counties for spring turkey harvest in the North Zone this year were JoDaviess (534), Pike (522), Fulton (449), Adams (415), and Macoupin (343).