Illinois Wild Turkey Harvest Declines: Aging Hunters and Cultural Shifts Impact Hunting Permit Sales and Wildlife Conservation

Illinois Wild Turkey Harvest Declines: Aging Hunters and Cultural Shifts Impact Hunting Permit Sales and Wildlife ConservationSource: Unsplah/William Stark
Jo Marquez
Published on November 17, 2023

Hunters in Illinois harvested 262 wild turkeys in the 2023 fall season, a minor decrease from the previous year. Though these numbers are significantly lower than the 2005 record of 1,218 birds, several factors could explain the decrease in harvest numbers and permit sales as reported by the Illinois Government News Network.

There were 1,711 fall firearm season permits sold in Illinois in 2023, slightly fewer than the 1,727 sold in 2022.

Decreases in permit numbers invariably affect the number of turkeys harvested. This trend follows a national pattern of declining permit sales.