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Thread: Tired of paying $100 each time I want to hunt...HELP

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Wheaton, IL
    Posts
    39

    Default Tired of paying $100 each time I want to hunt...HELP

    Hey everyone,

    Well, last season I was stuck having to pay $100 minimum each time I wanted to take the dog hunting. I live in north east IL, about an hour south of Chicago.

    Last year I was stuck hunting at hunting clubs, paying a min. of $100 each time I wanted to hunt. This lead to me only getting out 5 or so times.

    This year I want to hit it much harder. The dog is now 2 years old and ready to go with a season under his belt.

    I am willing to drive up to 2-3 hours to go hunting for the day, I would like it to be free...on public land. For any type of upland game.

    Any suggestions? I am new to this hunting thing. This is my 2nd season too, so I am not sure where to even look for public land around here that holds upland birds.

    I have family back in Michigan as well...we make the trip there every few months, so that's an option too.

    Basically want to get out there and hunt more with the dog. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,

    Nick

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Adams County, Pa
    Posts
    1,495

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    Can't help you out with places to hunt in Ill but several times a year when I want to hunt on a preserve I ask a few friends to go along. None of them have hunting dogs which gives my dogs plenty of work. When I do this we get a lot of hunting on a good number of birds and it will cost each person about $60 which isn't too bad.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    arizona / Wyoming
    Posts
    3,697

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    Go west young man go west. This is a problem for those of us that do not live in the pheasant belt, and don't go to the pheasant belt. Consider this you live in Ill. costs you 100 bucks a trip to hunt upland birds. How much is it going to cost you to travel to Say SD, KA, NE, ND, CO, MT, Or MN. Seems to me 100 a pop isn't that bad. Gas, lodging, ........ Gets really expensive. I'm not picking on you. However It costs me much more than a 100.00 a trip, to hunt here in my home state of AZ. If i make a trip to any of the above named states it's a whole lot more expensive. Like i said not trying to pick on you.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    SotaDakota
    Posts
    3,053

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    http://www.dnr.state.il.us/lands/Lan...RKS/region.htm

    Click on the region and it will list public lands and WMA's

    Not all area's allow hunting. you will need to research which area's that will allow public hunting.
    Last edited by onpoint; 09-19-2011 at 07:11 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Northern Illinois
    Posts
    3,563

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    From what I hear those DNR sites cost around $35 for the day. That includes two birds.

    If it's too late to get a permit you can wait in line for stand-by (the day you want to hunt). Just get there very early. You may or may not get in but it's worth a try.

    All and all, Illinois is absolutely terrible for public hunting opportunities. I'm working on this issue locally and meeting a fierce resistance to public hunting on gov't owned grounds. The fact is my friend Chicago has a influence throughout our state. Hunting is not their friend. Sorry and good luck

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Andover, MN
    Posts
    836

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    My advice is to take that $500 and take a 4-5 day trip to a state with birds. If you get 2-3 guys together in a truck to split gas and lodging, a trip like that can be reasonable.

    Last December, I went with 2 other guys in a suburban to hunt Kansas. We had 5 nights in cheap motels and split gas. Ate at cafes for lunch, nicer dinners. We hunted state walk in areas and knocked on doors.

    I spent $585 including license.

    I would assume you could do it in south Dakota as well, as long as you stay away from the main Pheasant, Inc. areas.
    JeffStally

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Wheaton, IL
    Posts
    39

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    Quote Originally Posted by 1pheas4 View Post
    From what I hear those DNR sites cost around $35 for the day. That includes two birds.

    If it's too late to get a permit you can wait in line for stand-by (the day you want to hunt). Just get there very early. You may or may not get in but it's worth a try.

    All and all, Illinois is absolutely terrible for public hunting opportunities. I'm working on this issue locally and meeting a fierce resistance to public hunting on gov't owned grounds. The fact is my friend Chicago has a influence throughout our state. Hunting is not their friend. Sorry and good luck
    Thanks for the reply. If you don't mind me asking where do you hunt? You can always PM me. Unfortunately, I missed to permit deadline (Aug. 31st), so I'm out of luck there.

    I have some numbers to call the different IL sites where you can hunt tomorrow, we'll see how that goes.

    Thanks everyone for the help....maybe the $100 per hunt isn't looking to bad after all.

    Nick

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Montana
    Posts
    278

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    Hi , Jeffstally hit it on the head, a good dog comes only from lots, and frequent bird contacts. Wild birds , make a BIRD DOG. NOTHING good comes easy. Many on this board live to hunt, and suffer financially to get to do what is most importnat, and what they love the most. Cant have it all , can we!

    It boils down to time vs Money! Work has to come first, but make a trip or two into the Dakotas, Nebraska or Kansas, and YOUR DOG will thank you. By the way ,when you get it figured out, friends with or without dogs will be in line to pay more than their fair share to go with you!

    YOU WILL get more hunting in a week in the midwest, than a lifetime on preserves MHO!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    colorado
    Posts
    97

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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffstally View Post
    My advice is to take that $500 and take a 4-5 day trip to a state with birds. If you get 2-3 guys together in a truck to split gas and lodging, a trip like that can be reasonable.

    Last December, I went with 2 other guys in a suburban to hunt Kansas. We had 5 nights in cheap motels and split gas. Ate at cafes for lunch, nicer dinners. We hunted state walk in areas and knocked on doors.

    I spent $585 including license.

    I would assume you could do it in south Dakota as well, as long as you stay away from the main Pheasant, Inc. areas.
    Yes sir, this is what makes it possible for me to go to KS, NE and SD this year. Get the buddies up to it and when you can split the costs of a big trip it makes a difference. I am already broke and only go a little broker in the hunting season. You cant put a price on tornadoes of birds, well maybe like $150 a gun but...

    Try to stay away from the pay to play, do the states research find the WIA's. The money spent on gas is worth it, if you P2P your digging into good trip money there. Where your at SD aint a bad option, its the best(from what I hear, we'll see).

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Northern Illinois
    Posts
    3,563

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    Quote Originally Posted by nbd13 View Post
    Thanks for the reply. If you don't mind me asking where do you hunt? You can always PM me. Unfortunately, I missed to permit deadline (Aug. 31st), so I'm out of luck there. Nick

    For the most part I hunt wild birds in McHenry County. I've lived here all my life so I know a few people and that really helps. I do feel your pain though. So many of my hunting areas are now homes or bought by the conservation dept.

    Look into becoming a member at a not-for-profit sportsman's club. Some raise or buy birds for hunting without additional charge to the member.

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