Going rates for Hunting/Wildlife Clubs


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iamkris
January 16, 2003, 06:45 PM
I am a transplant to the northern suburbs of Chicago but was raised in south central Illinois. I grew up hunting but between currently living in an urban environment and being busy with job, wife, kids, house and community, I've little time for finding hunting spots. The only public land within easy driving distance is overwhelmed with hunters (and housing is continually encroaching on it). I don't have the time to drive 3-4 hours to other lands (mostly private or my hometown) more than once, maybe twice a year.

One solution I thought of is the hunting preserve. Problem is, two that I have looked into are, um, a little out of my immediate budget.

The first (40 minutes from me) is on 700 acres, $1000 initiation fee, $200 / month and $18 per "credit" (pheasant = 2 credits, grouse = 1.5, so on). Fancy clubhouse/restaurant/bar, ponds, fishing and shooting clays course.

The second is 20 minutes with 1000 acres. No initiation, $1800 a year which includes 25 pheasants, $15 per pheasant thereafter, "rustic" clubhouse/restaurant, ponds, etc.

Second is definitely more in line but still expensive for me right now. Question -- is this what I should expect?

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Art Eatman
January 16, 2003, 09:35 PM
For the second deal: Dunno about "usual", but if there are not too many hunters and the right to use the premises is year-around, it doesn't seem bad. Any other hunting besides pheasant? Fish in the pond? If so, at 20 minutes away it sounds pretty good for today's world.

I'm having to compare it to Texas deer leases and what I've read about quail/pheasant hunting "down south".

Art

iamkris
January 17, 2003, 12:06 AM
Pheasant, chukar, quail -- October - Mar

Stocked trout pond

Membership only (not clear how many members)

...hmmm, maybe when my oldest gets nearer hunting age (12 around here)

Thanks for the reply.

Art Eatman
January 17, 2003, 01:50 AM
Hey, even if the youngun doesn't yet hunt, just getting out and seeing critters is a Good Thing. Add in the occasional Saturday spent fishing!

If you take a kid along as a non-hunter, early, the little grabber learns manners and how to behave properly.

While there would be enjoyment for you, $150 a month can easily be looked at as an investment in a kid's future.

Art

Kingcreek
January 17, 2003, 02:18 AM
yeah, that is probably what you should expect.
2 things I know
1-the further you get from chicago, the cheaper the hunting fees
2-the further you get from chicago, the more folks resent chicago hunters

I'm not trying to be a smartasss but "regular folk" appreciate regular folk and grow tired of ritzy fellas with thousand dollar dogs, 2 thousand dollar shotguns, and driving SUVs costing more than a years wages. (If you are from "downstate" you already know that.)
My point is if you are willing to drive 2 hours or a little more you can probably cut the fees in half or better. I live 3 hours from chicago and the state park has put-and-take pheasant hunting for $20/hunter on a daily lottery draw. One club in the area offers a 1 day trial hunt for $250 for up to 4 hunters. I think an annual membership is about half what you mention. Permission on private ground is still possible but wild rooster numbers have been poor for the past couple years.
A pheasants forever membership and a little networking might get you more hunting for less $$$$$.

iamkris
January 17, 2003, 11:52 AM
Good advice and many of your statements ring true. Suffice it to say my last dog was given to me and my shotgun is an 1100 bought in 1985.

Unfortunately, my downstate options are limited mostly because of where I live in the suburbs...it often takes us 2 hours just to clear Chicago when heading south!! That only gets me to I-80 then I have another 2 - 3 hours to get someplace wild and comforting.

Anyway, good advice ... feel free to email me from the profile if you have any specific suggestions.

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