Big drop-offs were reported for the recent spring turkey harvest in most of the four-county area.
According to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, hunters in Morgan County bagged 147 birds this year, down from 210 in 2015. In Greene County, the number went from 165 last year to 157 this year. In Cass County, 213 turkeys were harvested, down from 257 last year.
Scott County was the only county to see an increase, from 65 turkeys last year to 73 this year.
Overall, hunters took more than 15,000 turkeys across the state during the spring harvest season. Department of Natural Resources spokesman Tim Schweizer says this was the second year in a row for improved harvest numbers in the state.
“The turkey harvest has been up for the last couple years, hit a low point in 2014, but turkey reproduction the last couple years has been pretty good, and that’s provided more birds for hunters to go after,” Schweizer says.
Spring turkey hunting was open in 100 of 102 counties in Illinois during April and the beginning of this month. The top harvest numbers were in Jefferson, Jo Daviess, Fulton and Pike Counties.