Controlled pheasant hunting at public sites will fly again in Illinois, despite asinine recommendations earlier this year from Gov. Blagojevich's numbers crunchers.
And, in related matters, the online applications for pheasant habitat areas, etc. is up and going, with a notable change . . . it's available only online.
I'm not a huge fan of controlled pheasant hunts, but in Illinois, they are essential for many people like Paul Boestche and Lori Suddeth to work Amber at Iroquois SWA.
I enjoy simply hunting them without a dog too.
To me, the ideal scenario for public pheasant or upland game hunting in Illinois is the PHAs, or Upland Game Areas or Quall Management Areas. But you can only draw one permit per year, and that only with a good bit of luck, and there's only some 30 of those sites.
Let's start with that info.
If you have drawn or hunted one of the PHA, QMAs or UGAs before, you know how great they are. Most are several hundred acres of restored habitat with one group having the site for the day.
The one at Clifton was one of the first I ever hunted, wild birds flew all morning.
I have several friends with whom I apply, and if one of us gets lucky, the other gets an invite to join on the permit.
To apply, go to http://dnr.state.il.us/Uplandgame/Index.htm.
The controlled pheasant hunting program was the one threatened by Blagojevich's number crunchers. But it survived.
Online permit reservations for the first drawing period on IDNR-operated sites will be accepted from 8:30 a.m. on August 4 through midnight on August 17. Two additional drawing periods are scheduled thereafter. Hunters need to review the application instructions and season information on the controlled pheasant hunting website at www.LRSIDNRPermits.com prior to submitting an application.
The IDNR will continue to offer some standby hunting, too.
The public/private partnership controlled pheasant hunting areas are Chain O'Lakes State Park in Lake County, Silver Springs State Park in Kendall County, Ramsey Lake State Park in Fayette County, and Horseshoe Lake State Park in Madison County. Information about controlled pheasant hunting at these sites is available on the concessionaire's website at www.tmillerinc.com