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Upland opener good for a few

November 03, 2007 at 08:52 PM

I did not pass a single person wearing a blaze orange hat Saturday.

If this was Iowa or South Dakota, there would have been ugly orange hats everywhere for opening day of pheasant season. Oh well. This is Illinois. There are not that many pheasant hunters any more. Not that many pheasants, either. Or quail. Or rabbits. And opening day of upland game season is no longer a big deal, except for dog owners like me and for a few others who still want to wander through grass in search of birds or bunnies.

But all hope is not lost. More so than any other day, I look forward to this one. For months now I’ve been feeding a Llewellin setter named Hawkeye with upland season in mind. And Saturday, the dog earned all those meals. Sure his tail was too low. But he pointed quail. He pointed pheasants. He retrieved quail out of a creek. And he provided hope for the rest of this upland season.

And there were signs of hope elsewhere. Brent Fagerburg of Peoria Heights called Saturday afternoon with a glowing report from the Hallsville Pheasant Habitat Area. Hunting with Larry Brown and two other gunners, they limited out on pheasants by 10 a.m. “We saw 42 roosters and 30 hens,” Fagerburg said. They also killed one coyote at the end of a field shortly before triggering a flush of 30 pheasants.

The PHAs prove that habitat = birds. Unfortunately, there’s not much habitat out there on the landscape. So there are not many birds. So there are not many bird hunters.

My own hunt produced four quail out of a grassy ditch in Stark County. While that’s nothing to brag about, it is reason to hunt again. So let it snow. Let the deer hunters take over. And leave the birds to others.

Your CommentsComments :: Terms :: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

I wanted to go so bad on Saturday but with no where to go within reasonable driving distance from Peoria i just did some work around the house. I could have went to Sand Ridge and paid 15 bucks to hunt but i would much rather hunt wild birds than raised birds. I have a free permit for Sand Ridge in December but i also had a permit there last year and only saw 3 quail so i dont hold out much hope.I will go to Jim Edgar a couple of times and hunt the open area but that is about an hour and a half drive. I just wish there were more places closer to Peoria. I dont see why Jubilee cant have a PHA or even an open area. It would seem to me to be a perfect place for pheasants and quail.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 11/05 at 04:17 PM

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