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  • Hunting Gift Certificates for Christmas
    Hunting Gift Certificates for Christmas
    Posted by admin
    Still have to play Santa and need a good idea? A gift certificate for a hunt at Heartland Lodge is a perfect Christmas gift for that special someone on your list! This unique gift will be one that they will never forget and will sure to be used. We ha
  • Reserve Your 2012 Winter/Spring Dates
    Reserve Your Winter/Spring Dates
    Posted by admin
    Now is the time to reserve your winter/spring upland hunt! Dates are starting to fill up a littler earlier this year. Call now to make sure you receive your choice dates. Enjoy our great guides, awesome dog work, wonderful lodging and incredible meals.
  • Tips For Opening Day Pheasant Hunting
    Tips For Opening Day Pheasant Hunting
    Posted by admin
    Tips For Opening Day Pheasant Hunting By Chris Larsen Opening day of pheasant season is a lot like the first day of school. Everyone is wearing their fancy new clothes, people are wandering around aimlessly, and lessons are about to be learned. Hun
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Recent Blogs

  • Four Keys to Opening Weekend of Whitetail Gun Season
    Four Keys to Opening Weekend of Whitetail Gun Season
    Posted by admin
    4 keys to Opening Weekend of Gun Season Opening Weekend of gun season has a special engrained meaning in the hearts of all hunters. Food, fellowship, anticipation for the first light of opening morning. When the initial shot crashes the air
  • 3.5 Things to Do When You Kill a Doe
    3.5 Things to Do When You Kill a Doe
    Posted by admin
    3.5 things to do when you kill a doe Shooting does, we understand the importance for herd management, the fantastic eating and confidence boosters. We also understand what they mean to big bucks. But are we really taking full advantage of does on
  • The Tools for Deer Scrape Manipulation
    The Tools for Deer Scrape Manipulation
    Posted by admin
    The Tools for Deer Scrape Manipulation Nurse……Scalpel. You hear line this in many TV hospital dramas. Doctors have many instruments to choose from when in the operating room and when it comes time to doctoring a scrape, do you have the proper instru
  • 9/30/2014
    Checking A Tree Stand
    Posted by admin
    Checking A Stand In theory, we should all have checked our tree stands before the hunting season starts, to cut shooting lanes, and to check on the status of your stands. But what if you haven’t had time? I fully understand many hunters do not have
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  • Overall, our experience was wonderful.  We enjoyed being members of the Heartland Lodge family.  Terry Abney was a wonderful guide and we enjoyed hunting with him and his dogs.  The overall upland hunting experience is top notch and I can't think of anything else to make it better.  Hope we can come back again in the future!
    - Jason Valiga
  • Absolutely Amazing.  Best hunting experience of my life.  I will always remember this trip.  Our guide, Terry, is amazing.  Truly great guy and one hell of a guide!
    - Comeron Clark-Hedgesville, WV
  • Loved our first father/son hunt.  Luke is asking to go again already.  I think we will make it a tradition.  Truly a family feel for the lodge.  I would recommend it to anyone in the St. Louis area who would like to experience outdoors/hunting. 
    - Steve Granberg, St. Louis, MO
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Illinois Quail Hunting

Hunting wild quail in Illinois, especially in Pike County, has been a tradition that goes back to when settlers first arrived to the area. The native prairie grasses of Illinois are ideal habitat for coveys of wild quail. With the introduction of farming and fence rows providing extra cover, quail flourish in Illinois.

Upland fields in Pike County ILHeartland’s owner, Gary Harpole, grew up hunting quail in these fields at places like “Uncle Lyle’s farm.” These farms were full of overgrown fence rows, grasses and grain fields. Many hunting traditions were created during this time in the Harpole family. The traditional quail hunt began with stopping by the small town grocery store and picking up a loaf of bread, a pound of bologna, and can of soda for lunch. Quail hunting began at daybreak and continued until dark, walking along fence rows, watching pointing dogs lock up, anticipating the wild flush. Many fond hunting memories were made this way, created with family and friends, and passed down to future generations of quail hunters.

These same traditions (besides the bologna) continue on at Heartland Lodge. Many of the farms we hunt are just like “Uncle Lyle’s farm.” The farms still have the old fence rows, native grasses, and a mixture of food plots and grain fields. This prime habitat ensures that coveys of wild quail are scattered across all of our properties.

Come step back in time with us and continue the tradition of wild quail hunting in Illinois that started here many generations ago.

Click the sections below for more information.

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Georgia Quail Hunting vs. Illinois Quail Hunting

Quail and PheasantsWhen comparing Illinois quail hunting to Georgia quail hunting, there are not many differences. The tradition in Georgia is to hunt from buggies or jeeps that follow behind pointing dogs. The quail’s habitat is native Georgia grasses mixed with some pines.

Illinois quail hunting is very traditional, much like hunting “Uncle Lyle's farm” when you were young, complete with fence rows, timber edges, and CRP fields. Quail hunts are mostly done behind some type of pointing dog. Since most of Illinois from Central Illinois through the north has both pheasant and quail, you never know what might flush. The anticipation can be very exciting!

The advantage of hunting Illinois for quail is the style of hunting. Hunting behind well-trained pointing dogs on farms like you hunted growing up can only be found in the midwest. Both Illinois and Georgia have great quail hunting though and if you choose the right location and guide, you should be able to limit out on your quail hunt.

Larger Group Quail Hunts

Heartland prides itself on the personalized service it provides to everyone hunting with us. Single, double and small groups are very special to us, as we get to know the hunters on a personal basis. But our offerings aren’t limited to small groups alone. Heartland is equipped to handle larger groups and provide the same exceptional service to each hunter within a larger group. We have plenty of birds, fields, guides and dogs to make Heartland the ideal location for larger groups.

Illinois Quail Hunt Easy Travel

Another advantage to quail hunting in Illinois, is the travel. Traveling to Georgia can take a full day or more of your vacation time if you are driving. Getting to Heartland Lodge is very convenient. We are centrally located in the United States, making travel short from any direction. Most of our guests fly into St Louis, Missouri, and enjoy the scenic drive up the Mississippi River to our lodge.

For more information on our pheasant hunts go to our main upland bird hunting page or directly to Illinois pheasant hunting. For more information on the other hunting trips that we offer from whitetail deer to ducks, check out our main Illinois hunting page.

Ten Tips for Hunting Quail

  1. If possible, warm up with a round of sporting clays. Practice with multi-pairs. This will help you be more successful in the field and better enjoy your hunt.
  2. When the covey flushes, focus on a single quail at a time.  Many hunters don't pick out one bird to shoot and shoot into the entire covey.  As a result they end up missing all the birds.
  3. Keep your head down on the barrel. Many hunters get distracted with the covey flush and take their head off the barrel.
  4. Safety is always the most important part of hunting.  Keep your safety on your gun until you are next to the dogs on point.
  5. Keep your gun pointed up at all times until you are ready to mount it on your shoulder.
  6. Always be aware of your surroundings especially other hunters and dogs.  Avoid shooting any quail that are flying low or close to dogs or hunters.
  7. Always wear a solid orange hat and vest.
  8. Be aware what is behind the bird in the background.  Vehicles and buildings can be accidently shot if you are not paying attention.
  9. When shooting single or multiple quail be sure to mark where the birds land.
  10. A higher recovery rate happens when you stay in the same spot you shot the birds and direct another hunter or guide with dogs to the location the quail landed.

Intersting Facts About Wild Bobwhite Quail

There are 22 different bobwhite quail subspecies in 38 states in the US and also in Mexico. The males of the species varies much more than the females.

The purpose of the well know call, “Bob, Bob White”, of the male quail is to attract a mate and to warn off other males from his territory.

Wild Quail mate and nest from late April unitl early October.

During the nesting season females can produce three successful nests.

Each male bobwhite selects a territory in which to nest.  The female is responsible for building a nest located on the ground and lays 12-15 eggs per clutch.

Quail generally locate their nest within 50 feet from the edge of cover.

A hen may lay and incubate a clutch of eggs or she may leave the nest to her mate to incubate. She will then move to another area, select another mate and lay a second or often a third clutch of eggs.

One egg a day is the normal rate for a hen.

47-55 days is the average nesting cycle which inlcudes the site selection and construction.

Males are successful in incubating and even raising a brood without the help from a hen.  About 30% of nests are incubated by males.

Chick's survival is equal despite the sex of the adult raising them.

Eight Basic Habitats Quail Need

Nesting Area            

The preferred nesting area includes but not limited to a mix of erect grasses, forbs, and scattered shrubs or bushes at a moderate density and height.                       

Brood Area               

In brood area, cover should be dominated by plants that are well spaced and have study stems and little vegetation near the ground.  Over head foliage must be dense enough to provide sufficient cover for chicks and adults protections from predators. 

Feeding Area

Spring and Summer:  Some weed seeds and plant greens are eaten. Insects being higher in protein are eaten and provide 80%-95% of a chick’s diet within the first few weeks.

Fall and Winter:  Perennial forbs, fruit bearing woody plants, grass seed, ponic, crab and foxtail grasses, the seed from oak and hickory trees and the left over grain from farm fields provide the largest portion of nutrition for quail.

Roosting Area          

Roosting in probably the only quail activity that does not require dense overhead cover. Research shows that quail use crop fields, grasslands and old fields for roosting.  Quail will roost on bare soil and vegetation litter such as old leaves, grass, etc.  They also prefer mid slope or lower elevation for roosting. 

Escape Area              

The escape area includes a thicket of trees, blackberry and other bushes, and vines.  Piles of brush, tree tops and heavily planted food plots also provide a good escape area. 

Dusting Area            

Any bare soil or soil disturbance such as cattle paths, ant hills, watering holes, roads and trails is where you will see most quail dusting themselves.

Covey Headquarters 

This is the area that the quail will gather usually in mid day. Covey Headquarters can be in any of the above areas.