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Heartland Outdoors

First Youth Turkey Season Shows 15.9% Decrease in Harvest Totals

Tue, April 03, 2018

Was it the weather? Was it the timing? Are there fewer turkeys? Fewer youth turkey hunters?

While we don’t have any hard and fast answers to those questions yet, we do have the premliminary totals from the 2018 Youth Turkey first season and they show a nearly 16%  decline from 2017 numbers.

For many youth hunters, the odd weather patterns we have seen across the state certainly played a part. While southern IL hunters were faced with relentless rain, flooded areas, and then an unusual cold snap, northern zone hunters faced equally unseasonably cold weather and a few episodes of heavy snow. A brief look at the projected forecast doesn’t seem to make second season much more favorable when it comes to weather.

From the Illinois DNR Division of Wildlife Resources:
Youth hunters in Illinois harvested a preliminary total of 664 turkeys during the opening weekend of the 2018 Youth Spring Turkey Season (March 31-April 1), compared to 776 during the first weekend in 2017.

The second weekend of the youth turkey season is April 7-8. For more information on turkey hunting in Illinois, go online at
First weekend county results for the youth turkey season are below:


We were out Saturday. Weather wasn’t very cooperative to say it politely. Sunday was Easter. Assuming turn out was low. If weather is better, the numbers will improve this weekend.

Posted by chrismaring on April 03

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