The Illinois Conservation Foundation (ICF) has announced the 2020 collection of Illinois Department of Natural Resources Collectors Pins is available for purchase.

Sales of the Collectors Pins through the ICF help to advance conservation efforts, maintain and restore natural habitats for wildlife, and inspire and educate future generations of leaders. The funds support youth shooting sports programs, including wingshooting clinics, youth hunts, and archery competition through the National Archery in the Schools Program.

New for collectors in 2020 are Illinois Bass, Bluegill and Pheasant pins, joining 2020 editions of Illinois Big Buck, Wild Turkey and Morel pins. The undated Illinois Duck Pin also is available for purchase.

Pins may be purchased for $5 each through the “Store” tab on the ICF website at www.ilconservation.org. The 2020 edition pins, along with pins from previous years, are available on the website.

Wingshooting clinics coming soon

Wingshooting Clinics have become very popular over the years as a way to prepare women and youth for upcoming hunting seasons. Here is a chance to get your son or daughter involved by attending one of these two events both of which include an afternoon pheasant hunt.

Young hunters between the ages of 10-17 can apply now for the Youth Wingshooting Clinics and Pheasant Hunts scheduled for March 7 at Pere Marquette State Park in Jersey County and March 21 at the World Shooting and Recreational Complex in Randolph County.

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.

At both events, young hunters will participate in a wingshooting clinic during the morning. National Sporting Clays Association/Illinois Department of Natural Resources Certified Wingshooting Instructors will teach the wingshooting clinic. Young hunters will practice safe shotgun handling and operation while advancing their wingshooting skills during the clinic. The pheasant hunt 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 assist the IDNR in hosting the events, providing 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, co-sponsors include Illinois Conservation Foundation; Alwerdt’s Pheasant Farm, 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, Illinois Federation of Outdoor Resources, Illinois National Shoot-To-Retrieve Field Trial Association, Migratory Waterfowl Hunters, National Wild Turkey Federation Midwest Gobblers Chapter, Olin/Winchester, Pfister Seed Company, Quail Forever Illinois Pioneer Chapter, Todd Parish – Attorney At Law, Ward Financial Services, and Whitworth-Horn-Goetten Insurance Agency.

At the WSRC, co-sponsors include Illinois Conservation Foundation, 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’s Controlled Pheasant Hunting Reservation System. Hunters need to review the “Illinois Youth Pheasant Hunt Information” and the “Illinois Youth Pheasant Hunt Regulations” on the controlled pheasant hunting website prior to applying: https://dnr2.illinois.gov/controlledhunt/

Sam Van Camp writes about the outdoors on Sundays. Call him at 662-6559. Fax: 446-6648. E-mail: pamnsam@nwcable.net

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