Turkey hunting permit lottery starts October 6

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources announced this week new updates to the process for hunters who want to enter the lottery for Spring Wild Turkey permits. The new application procedure, adopted earlier this year, will streamline the lotteries for turkey hunters, making it easier to obtain all three of their permits online rather than a combination of online and over-the-counter.

"We hope this new process will be simpler and more straightforward for our hunters," said Luke Garver, manager of the IDNR Wild Turkey Project in a release to the public. "Resident hunters can now apply in all three lotteries, whereas previously they would only be able to apply in the first and third. Hunters also will have the opportunity to get more permits for their favorite public land spots via the lottery."

Three changes to the lottery process includes a stipulation that only resident hunters may apply for one turkey hunting permit. This excludes hunters who have received or will receive a landowner property-only hunting turkey permit for the spring season. Applications for this lottery, also known as the First Lottery will be accepted starting on October 6 and will close on December 1.

In the Second Lottery, all hunters are eligible to apply for one turkey hunting permit, but hunters who have not already been awarded a permit will receive preference. Applications for this phase will be accepted through the first working day after Jan. 10.

Finally, the Third Lottery allows any to apply. The statement from the IDNR says "hunters may apply for up to three permits during this period, except that no one may exceed the limit of three permits in total for spring turkey hunting." The three-permit total includes all other allowable lottery-drawn, landowner, youth, and OTC permits. Applications for this lottery will be accepted through the first working day after Feb. 8.

For additional information or questions on Wild Turkey Hunting in Illinois, visit click here: https://www2.illinois.gov/dnr/hunting/Pages/TurkeyHunting.aspx.

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