SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Young hunters between the ages of 10 and 17 can apply now for the Youth Wingshooting Clinics and Pheasant Hunts scheduled for Saturday, March 6, 2021 at Pere Marquette State Park in Jersey County and Saturday, March 20, 2021 at the World Shooting and Recreational Complex (WSRC) in Randolph County.
All participants in the clinics and hunts will be required to follow all health and safety guidelines issued by the Illinois Department of Public Health, including wearing masks when social distancing cannot be achieved, and carrying and using hand sanitizer.
The Pere Marquette and WSRC Youth Clinics and Hunts have been popular late winter/early spring additions to the IDNR Wingshooting and Youth Pheasant Hunting programs. Most youth pheasant hunting opportunities are offered at IDNR Controlled Pheasant Hunting Areas in the fall or early winter.
During the events March 6 and March 20, young hunters will participate in wingshooting clinics during the morning. National Sporting Clays Association/IDNR Certified Wingshooting Instructors will teach the wingshooting clinics. Young hunters will practice safe shotgun handling and operation while advancing their wingshooting skills. The pheasant hunts will take place during the afternoon. Young hunters must have successfully completed an approved Hunter Safety Course and have a valid hunting license to participate.
Co-sponsors will assist the IDNR, Pere Marquette State Park, and the WSRC with the wingshooting clinics and pheasant hunts. Co-sponsors provide funding for the clay targets, target and field shot shells, and lunch for the young hunters. Through the assistance of some of their members, co-sponsors also provide bird dogs, bird dog handlers, and hunting guides. At Pere Marquette, the 2020 co-sponsors included Alwerdt’s Pheasant Farm, Altamont, Illinois; Bollini Taxidermy; Channel-Seedsmanship At Work; Clemens Insurance; Ducks Unlimited – Jersey County Chapter; Friends of Pere Marquette State Park; Fur Takers of America; Green Roof Kennels; the Illinois Federation of Outdoor Resources; the Illinois National Shoot-To-Retrieve Field Trial Association; Migratory Waterfowl Hunters; the National Wild Turkey Federation – Midwest Gobblers Chapter; Olin/Winchester; Pfister Seed Company; Quail Forever – Illinois Pioneer Chapter; Todd Parish – Attorney At Law; and, Ward Financial Services and Whitworth-Horn-Goetten Insurance Agency.
At the WSRC, co-sponsors have included Friends of the WSRC; National Wild Turkey Federation – Randolph County Cutters and Strutters Chapter; and, the Okaw Valley Beagle Club.
Permits for the Pere Marquette and WSRC Youth Wingshooting Clinics/Pheasant Hunts are available through the IDNR Controlled Pheasant Hunting Internet Reservation System. Hunters need to review the “Illinois Youth Pheasant Hunt Information” and the “Illinois Youth Pheasant Hunt Regulations” on the IDNR controlled pheasant hunting webpage prior to applying. Completing a permit reservation online takes less than five minutes.
For details, check the controlled pheasant hunting webpage at https://dnr2.illinois.gov/controlledhunt/.