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Illinois hunting and fishing

Illinois youth turkey hunters fare well

April 05, 2010 at 04:19 PM

Nick and Mathew Anderson (Nick is at left in the picture above) had a hunt to remember on opening day of the North Zone youth turkey season.

So did several other youngsters based on preliminary figures released Monday. While numbers are still rough, indications are Illinois youth turkey hunters posted increased harvest totals over the past two weekends.

North Zone hunters shot 440 birds last weekend, up from 363 last spring. One week earlier, South Zone youths shot 297 birds, compared to 254 last year.

That may bode well for South Zone hunters, who started their regular season today. Certainly it was reason for celebration for the Anderson brothers, who both shot their first gobblers last Saturday while hunting in Fulton County with their father, Bryan. Here is his account of the hunt.

“Nick’s bird came in just before 7 a.m. and strutted up to our DSD Decoys, offering him a 17-yard shot. As you can see, big brother made good on his first shot at a gobbler. We jumped out of the blind and after the high-fives, hugs and congrats we snapped some photos of his trophy bird and couldn’t have guessed what was about to happen next!

“The entire time we were snapping photos we could hear other birds gobbling up along the ridge bordering the creek. Before leaving I told the boys that we should throw out some more calls and see if anything answered. After the first couple yelps from the Wood Haven Legend Slate, booming gobbles shot out just to the west of us. It was as fast as we could jump back in the blind and get the T/C Encore loaded that we could see three more birds on top of the ridge directly across from us, on the other side of the creek.

“A couple more soft yelps and some cluck ‘n purr on the slate had them trotting our way and they actually glided over the creek landing directly behind our blind. When they passed our blind at only 6 yards, Mathew dropped the hammer on the longest bearded bird in the bunch! The time was only 7:30! Without a doubt, the most action packed half hour I’ve ever spent in the woods!”

Nick, 10, shot a 25-pound gobbler that had two beards longer than 9 inches and 1-inch spurs.

Mathew, 9, shot a 20-pounder with a 10 3/8-inch beard and wicked 1 3/8-inch spurs.

Elsewhere, reports of gobbling activity have been very mixed around the state.

Forest game biologist Paul Shelton said he saw and heard numerous birds while working in Winnebago and Boone counties last week. “It seemed like I was covered up in turkeys,” Shelton said. “And they were gobbling all the time. If you slammed a pickup truck or made some noise like that it set them off every time.”

Your CommentsComments :: Terms :: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Congrats to the kids -what a hunt and what a memory. 

I wish the DNR would see fit to let the kids get their permit and use it at any time during the normal season.  I think putting it on the front end of the season - while giving the kids the first chance is really a roll of the dice weather wise.  Last spring - all the activity we saw on Sat went poof when the next day brought several inches of snow…

Birds that were everywhere the day before were nowhere to be found.  I’ve killed a few birds but I’m no expert and I was scratching my head on that one.    Seems that if you want the kids to be successful - let them go when they want and let it be at the best time for them to go.

They don’t kill enough to be that much of an impact to the rest of the adult hunters…

Good for these boys!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 04/05 at 07:48 PM

congrats guys!bet you boys are hooked4life,them ole gobblers have that kinda effect on a lot of people they are the kings of the woods !

Posted by trolloni on 04/05 at 08:18 PM

way to go ,all you youth hunters….

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 04/05 at 08:25 PM

Nice birds Nick and Mathew!
kids’ tags should be good for a week and for the afternoon too. I’d love to take my kids out when they get off the bus.

Posted by Henry Holt on 04/07 at 08:58 AM

Henry, excellent comment.  Who cares what time of day a kid shoots a turkey during a legal day of hunting?  If I were the turkey, I’d rather be shot in the afternoon than in the morning.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 04/11 at 12:42 AM

Our hunting hours is a LOT of the reason that I do most of my turkey hunting out of state.  My 8 yr old daughter took her first bird on Saturday as a Non-resident, in a state that she could hunt ALL DAY!  I might only get to turkey hunt 1 or 2 days in a given year…...might as well make the most of it.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 04/11 at 07:27 AM

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