Hunting is a sport that has been in my life since I can remember. The days of walking the fields with my trusty BB gun in my hands as my dad searched for pheasants in cornfields replay in my head constantly.
Those days are long past, but the memories still live with me every day. The memories that I made when I was young affect the way I look at the outdoors today. I have a deep respect for the outdoors and the game that I harvest. It is important to me that others understand the passion and drive that we, as hunters, have and the respect for the game that we pursue.
There are no intentions to push any sort of agenda on anyone when I talk about what hunting has done for me, but more a desire for others to understand why I am so passionate about what I do. Most people know my work as a fisherman and what I do in that world, but my love of hunting tends to sneak up on me this time of year and drives me into other directions.
Living in Illinois has given me different opportunities to hunt and spend time int he outdoors. It is not an easy task to find open land to hunt in northern Illinois, however there are several public hunting areas that do offer the sportsman a multitude of opportunities. Areas such as: Moraine Hills State park, Volo Bog, DesPlaines Conservation, McHenry County Conservation. etc. The list is a long one that you can find on the DNR website for you to find what is closest to you.
Just because these lands are public doesn't mean that they do not offer an excellent opportunity for the hunter. There are some great opportunities to be had and with a little research you will be certain to find an area that will allow you to scratch that "itch" of the hunting bug.
The time of year is upon us and it is time to get out the camo clothing and head into the woods. Be safe, Be smart, but most of all have fun. Take a youngster with you as well and watch the hunting bug grow in him or her. It will certainly be a memory that will last a lifetime.