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Preserves for Sport or Profit by Dr. Edward L. Kozicky, Godfrey,
| Regulations | Newsletters | Public
Monthly Report Forms for Exisiting Licensed
Hunting Preserves | On-Line
Non-Resident Hunting Licenses
preserves are licensed hunting areas that offer hunting from September
1 to April 15 or year-round for ring-necked pheasants, bobwhite quail,
chukar and Hungarian partridge, mallard ducks and even wild turkeys.
Some hunting preserves feature all of these game birds; some may specialize
in only one or two kinds. Good birds, good hunting dogs, good guides,
and good vegetative cover (natural and planted) constitute the basics
of every successful hunting preserve. All four are essential in providing
quality hunting in natural surroundings. Quality hunting on a preserve
simulates the wild hunting of gamebirds so closely that the hunter does
not perceive the difference.
There are two types
of hunting preserves: commercial and non-commercial. Commercial hunting
preserves have a single purpose: to provide a profit for the owner/operator
who furnishes quality hunting to those willing to pay for it. Commercial
preserves can be either membership only, daily-fee, or both. Non-commercial
hunting preserves are meant to provide quality hunting for a group of
hunters on a non-profit basis. Non-commercial preserves are either private,
co-op, or do-it-yourself. All hunting preserves have a common goal: quality
sport hunting in a safe and pleasant surrounding.
DAILY-FEE VS. MEMBERSHIP
A membership preserve
has a number of advantages over a daily-fee preserve. These include: membership
dues generating revenue for the operator in the Spring thus guaranteeing
business in the fall; membership preserves can also become a team effort;
with the members helping to recruit new members, and finally, a membership
committee can be formed to screen new members, and if necessary, drop
any existing members who have acted in an unsportsmans like manner.
often serve as a way to attract hunters to a preserve and offer them a
quality product at a fair price before evolving into a membership operation.
HUNTING ON A COMMERCIAL
Expect the area to
look like good hunting country with a rich blend of natural and planted
cover. The game birds will be mature, full-plumaged, strong flyers and
of the same color and conformation as their naturally occuring counterparts.
There will be experienced
guides and well-trained hunting dogs available, or on many preserves you
can use your own dog if you wish. You are a valued customer, and your
host will do everything he can to provide a safe, enjoyable hunt.
That depends on how
much hunting you want. Some hunting preserves charge a set fee for game
birds released; others charge for a half day or full-day hunt. In either
case, fees will vary somewhat from preserve to preserve. Most preserves
charge a minimum fee per hunter or hunting party. Extra services, such
as clay target shooting and/or dressing game birds, will add to the charges.
But one thing is sure:
a day on a hunting preserve is likely to cost no more money that a so-called
"free hunt" and will certainly cost much less time. Today, most
sportsmen spend a great deal of time, money and effort just hunting for
hunting --- and what they find is often disappointing.
Wherever you live
in Illinois, there is a good hunting preserve within easy driving distance.
If you are a typical hunter without landowner contact, that preserve may
be the most practical (and in the long run, the least expensive) way to
spend a day afield with dog, guns and game birds.
WHO TO CONTACT
A complete listing
of Illinois hunting preserves open to the public on a daily-fee and/or
a membership basis as of this year is available by selecting Public
Hunting Preserves on this website.
You can also write or telephone
any of the commercial hunting preserves listed for a brochure, which will
give you the location, services, facilities, and prices.
If you have questions or require further information about licensed hunting
preserves, please contact:
Illinois Dept. of Natural Resources
Game Breeding and Hunting Preserve Areas
Program Manager - Terry L. Musser
One Natural Resources Way
Springfield, IL 62702