Photo courtesy of Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
Opportunities Remain to Participate in the 2022 Fall Turkey Seasons
Although the relentless heat of summer seems to be never ending, the 2022 fall turkey hunting seasons are right around the corner. The Fall Archery Turkey season kicks off October 1 and, just three weeks later, the Fall Gun Turkey season begins on October 22. The archery season runs the concurrently with the Archery Deer season and concludes on January 15, 2023 (the season is closed during the Firearm Deer Seasons on Nov 18-20 and Dec 1-4, 2022). The fall gun season runs for 9 days and concludes on October 30. While the Fall Archery Turkey Season is open in all 102 counties, fall gun opportunities are only available in 56, being reserved for the counties with the highest turkey populations.
Interest in the Fall Gun Turkey Season continues to wane. Both permit sales and harvest totals are only about one-fifth of what they were 15 years ago. Still, each year more than 1,000 hunters participate in what was traditionally the most popular time to hunt turkeys. County permits are available either via lottery or over-the-counter and are very abundant. There are many state sites open to the season as well. Site-specific permits for those sites are available via lottery, however there are many sites which can be hunted with a county permit. Check out Hunt Illinois or our Digest of Hunting and Trapping Regulations to find out more.
Archery turkey hunting permit sales are down from their peak 12 to 15 years ago but have resurged the last few years and continue to hold strong. The archery season very accessible and public land opportunities exist in nearly every county in the state. Be sure to check Hunt Illinois or the Digest of Hunting and Trapping Regulations for sites in your area.
Luke Garver is the Wild Turkey Project Manager with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Division of Wildlife Resources.