Illinois hunting and fishing

Kaitlin Jerashen shot this 22.5-pound St. Clair County gobbler on April 10. Her first bird had a 10-inch beard and sported 1-inch spurs. Family friend Mark Anderson, at left, did the calling for Kaitlin.

Illinois turkey season starts strong

April 12, 2010 at 01:45 PM

A warm start to spring has been good news for Illinois wild turkey hunters.

Hunters in the South Zone posted the highest first season kill total since 2004. South Zone gobbler chasers shot 1,637 birds between April 5-9, well above last year’s 1,477 birds and best since the 2004 opening segment produced 1,721 bearded birds.

Opening day was particularly strong, as hunters shot 497 birds compared to 314 last year. 

The top five counties so far are Union (100), Pope (96), Jefferson (91), Jackson (87) and Randolph (80).

Kaitlin Jerashen of St Clair County killed her first ever longbeard Saturday, 10 April at first light.  Family friend Mark Anderson, pictured here with Kaitlin, did the calling.  Kaitlin’s trophy weighed in at 22.5 lbs, had a 10 inch beard, and sported 1 inch spurs.  Can you tell she’s happy?

Here are complete county-by-county results for the first season:

Turkeys_2010-S._Zone_1st_season_.pdf

Things didn’t slow down much weekend for Kaitlin Jerashen, who shot the 22.5-pound St. Clair County gobbler pictured above on April 10. Her first bird had a 10-inch beard and sported 1-inch spurs. Family friend Mark Anderson, at left, did the calling for Kaitlin.

The success in the South Zone follows on the heels of good youth hunts in both the South and North zones. Here are totals for those youth hunts.

Youth_turkey_totals-S._Zone_2010_.pdf

Youth_turkey_totals-N._Zone_2010_.pdf