Wild Turkey Seasons for 2019

As a turkey hunter myself, I wanted to remind everyone that we are in the midst of the Spring Wild Turkey Seasons. Some of the basic information you need to know is provided here. (For additional information, please refer to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources by clicking here.)

PERMIT COMPLETION:  Before hunting, you must sign your permit. You must carry the completed permit, along with your Hunting, Sportsman’s, Youth, or Apprentice License and Habitat Stamp (unless exempt), while hunting wild turkey.

Your Spring Wild Turkey Hunting Permit entitles you to participate in the privilege of wild turkey hunting. Please review this information to ensure that you comply with all of the wild turkey hunting regulations. While hunting, please respect the rules of good sportsmanship and the property of others. Have a safe and successful hunt.


HUNTING REGULATIONS (Shotgun and Archery) Bag Limit: One male turkey (gobbler); or one hen with a visible beard per permit, with a maximum of 3 permits. Once you have your limit, you may not further participate with a weapon in any turkey hunting party.

Baiting:  Use of live or electronic turkey decoys, recorded calls, dogs or bait (an area is considered as baited during the presence of and for 10 consecutive days following the removal of the bait) is illegal.

 Calling:  It is illegal for any person to use a turkey call that imitates sounds made by a turkey or to attempt to call a turkey by making these sounds while in the field in the Southern Zone from March 15 through the day before the 1st turkey season and in the Northern Zone from March 22 through the day before the 1st turkey season. This prohibition only applies in counties open to spring turkey hunting.  This prohibition does not apply to participants in the Youth Turkey Hunt with a valid permit, or their accompanying adult, during that  season.

Clothing:  No special clothing is required.

Hunting Area:  Only that county, counties or special hunt area designated on your permit. Permission to hunt on private property must be obtained from the property owner or tenant. “Property-Only Hunting” permit holders are permitted to hunt on their property ONLY in the counties open for turkey hunting.

 Special Hunt area permits are not valid anywhere else in the county. County permits are not valid for the Special Hunt areas.

Hunting Hours:  One-half hour before sunrise until 1 p.m. 

Roost:  It is illegal to shoot a wild turkey while it is in a tree BEFORE 7 a.m.

 Seasons:  A permit is only valid for the one season identified on the permit. A spring wild turkey “Property-Only Hunting” permit is valid for the entire 32 days encompassed by the five seasons in either the Northern or Southern zones (depending upon where your land is  located), but allows the taking of only one wild turkey. A hunting rights lease, or other non-agricultural lease, is not valid for a “Property-Only Hunting” permit.

SPRING TURKEY HARVEST REPORTING  Successful hunters must report their harvest by 3 p.m. on the day of harvest using our automated check-in system as below: BY TELEPHONE (toll-free): 1-866-452-4325 (1-866-IL-CHECK)  OR  ONLINE:  http://www.il.wildlifelicense.com/harvestReport/harvestReport.php