SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) is now taking applications from youth and adult turkey hunters for 2021 spring turkey hunting on private land through the Illinois Recreational Access Program (IRAP).
“We’ve had many hunters and anglers use the program and continue to come back year after year,” said IDNR Director Colleen Callahan. “IRAP has been extremely popular and continues to expand as it adds more private property for access by hunters. Through IRAP, landowners allow public access to their property in exchange for a lease payment, a habitat management plan, and assistance with habitat restoration of their property. It is an ideal public/private partnership that delivers wins for the habitat, participants and landowners.”
The IDNR has leased nearly 19,000 acres of private land for the upcoming 2021 Spring Turkey Hunting Season through IRAP, creating 582 public access turkey hunting sites on those properties in 39 counties. Sites are available during the youth turkey season and during the third and fourth segments of the regular spring turkey season at no cost to the participant.
To take part as a youth hunter (age 17 and under), hunters and their supervisors must complete an IRAP application online and submit it by Feb. 17, 2021 to be eligible for the youth drawing. A total of 224 sites are available for the two-weekend youth season (March 27-28, 2021 and April 3-4, 2020).
Another 358 IRAP sites also are available for spring turkey seasons 3 and 4 to youth and adult turkey hunters. These sites are open on a first-come, first-served basis. To be eligible, a hunter must first apply for his or her spring turkey permit through the IDNR spring turkey lottery for an IRAP-eligible county (see map on IRAP website). Once a hunter receives their spring turkey permit,