Where did all the turkeys go?

Illinois hunters bagged fewer wild turkeys this year.

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources says hunters harvested just more than 14,000 birds during the spring season.

That's nearly 2,000 less than last year. Click here for official numbers from each county.

Hunters blame cold and wet weather this year for the low numbers.

Paul Brewer is the Wild Turkey Project Manager for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

â??Many hunters commented on the cold and wet weather making hunting very difficult,â?? said Brewer in a press release. â??Breeding activity was delayed, and gobblers were not very responsive for much of the season.â??

Statewide, the month of April was the fourth-wettest April on record in Illinois.

â??Cold and wet springs are typically not good for turkey production, and we have experienced those conditions for six of the last seven years,â?? Brewer added. â??The long term key in improving wild turkey populations continues to be habitat management, particularly restoration of open oak woodlands for nesting and brood rearing.â??