Spring Turkey Season and Solar Eclipse Merge April 8th

A Wild Turkey and a Total Solar Eclipse
(Photo credits: YouTube & NASA/Aubrey Gemignani)

This coming Monday, April 8th has two big things happening is Southern Illinois. It is opening day for Spring Turkey Season and there will be a total solar eclipse.

Illinois Spring Turkey Hunting Zone Map
(Photo credit IL DNR)

In the Southern Zone of Illinois, the first Spring Turkey Season is April 8th through the 12th. That means there will be hunters out on both private and public land where hunting is permitted by the State of Illinois.

Southern Illinois is also in the centerline for the path of totality for the total solar eclipse that will happen April 8th. That means there will likely be tens of thousands of people if not hundreds of thousands on public land where also allowed to watch the spectacle.

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is urging both hunters and eclipse watchers to be mindful of each other, courteous and use caution to be safe. Turkey hunting is allowed half-hour before sunrise until 1 p.m. The eclipse will be visible around 2 p.m. That means both hunters and watchers will likely be in state parks at the same time most of the day.

The Illinois DNR also has shared on their Facebook page the “ECLIPSE TIPS – State Park Edition” below:

  1. Check the forecast before you go.
  2. Pack water, snacks and first aid supplies.
  3. Park only in designated areas.
  4. Be courteous to other park users.
  5. Bring solar viewers.
  6. Don’t litter, pack out what you pack in.
  7. Plan to linger or stay an extra day.

For eclipse viewers, the Illinois DNR also asks that you do not park in areas that are designated for hunters.

It is just one day with two big things happening for different people. If we are all considerate of each other, it can be a fun and safe day for everybody.

By: Buck Stevens

Buck Stevens