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  • Fall Bird Hunting Special
    Fall Bird Hunting Special
    Posted by admin
    Greetings from all the staff at Harpole’s Heartland Lodge! Most of us are enjoying the winter and are anxiously waiting for the coming of spring! Don’t put away those shotguns just yet! Heartland Lodge is once again offering a Sizzling Winter & Spri...
  • Get Ready For Pheasant & Quail Hunting Season!
    Get Ready For Pheasant & Quail Hunting Season!
    Posted by admin
    Well it’s getting to be that time of the year once again when we begin to think about the upcoming hunting seasons. Whether you enjoy Upland Bird Hunting, Waterfowl Hunting or Deer Hunting our lodge offers just about the best that you will find. Three b
  • Five Pheasant Hunting Tips For Beginners
    Five Pheasant Hunting Tips For Beginners
    Posted by admin
    By Chris Larsen Pheasant hunting is a great way to get introduced to bird hunting. You don’t need a lot of equipment and although the finer points may take years to learn, it doesn’t take much to grasp a basic understanding of how to hunt pheasants.
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Recent Blogs

  • A Hunting Honeymoon = The Perfect Honeymoon
    A Hunting Honeymoon = The Perfect Honeymoon
    Posted by admin
    In just a few days, some friends of ours will celebrate their 7th wedding anniversary and of course, seeing their anniversary on the calendar reminded me of their wedding back in 2008. The groom is an avid hunter…and the bride was (and still is) his perfe
  • Are Deer Drives a Thing of The Past?
    Are Deer Drives a Thing of The Past?
    Posted by admin
    “Loop around this wooded funnel in the corn field and walk through, push something to me.” My father had just given a near holy task to me as a 12 year old boy, push a deer to him. As a young boy, spending a morning freezing with my dad was darn special
  • Building Your Waterfowl Blind Bag
    Building Your Waterfowl Blind Bag
    Posted by admin
    Building Your Blind Bag Wind howling, my brother and I looked at each other and traded our gear out quickly. Taking the bows out of the truck, we loaded our duck decoys, shotguns, boats and headed for the swamps. Mallards flew high, teal whistled b
  • Deer Hunting with a Climber Tree Stand
    Deer Hunting with a Climber Tree Stand
    Posted by admin
    Breaking from traditional stands and venturing to new areas offers hunters the chance to discover un-pressured animals and territory. Often times your traditional spots go cold part way through the season leaving you frustrated and discouraged. Don't
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  • Heartland Lodge is always my favorite place to come and hunt.  The food is exceptional and the employees are helpful and friendly.  This was my fourth visit and won't be the last.
    - James Clark-Brentwood, TN
  • Don't change a thing! I have been a lot of places and this tops them all! Everything from Matt making us laugh on the sporting clay range to Brad and his team of dogs that blew my mind in the field. These guides are so fun and friendly. Then top it off with the amazing lodge, service, and food. I haven't stopped smiling since I arrived at Heartland and I'm sure I will drive everyone back home crazy talking about this trip for months. Thank you so much for an unbelievable trip!
    - Sam Mette-Teutopolis, Illinois
  • Didn't want to leave! We did not receive a survey upon departure, but I felt I HAD to brag on you guys! The past 11 years I listened to my husband talk about hunting trips-FINALLY-this past week I got to go on my FIRST hunting trip. I am SO GLAD my first trip was at your lodge with Terry & his dogs. I could not have asked for a better trip. The lodge, THE FOOD, the land, the people-*Terry*, "Yankee", Resa, Melissa, & Shannon... everything & everybody was awesome. And Terry's dogs--loved every, single one of them--so smart! I can't thank Terry enough for being such a great guide! Patient, hard-working, hilarious, self-esteem booster, great teacher...ETC.! Thank you ALL for the hospitality. I hope to be back next year. AND if you ever decide to share your recipes, please put me at the top of your list to receive them! :)
    - Brooke Sturgill
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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, and 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. Singles, doubles 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.

Interesting Facts About Wild Bobwhite Quail

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

The purpose of the well-known call of the mail quail, “Bob, Bob White”, 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.

A 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 is not limited to, a mix of erect grasses, forbs, and scattered shrubs or bushes at a moderate density and height.                       

Brood Area               

In a brood area, cover should be dominated by plants that are well spaced and have sturdy stems and little vegetation near the ground. Overhead foliage must be dense enough to provide sufficient cover for chicks and adults, protecting them 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 leftover grain from farm fields provide the largest portion of nutrition for quail.

Roosting Area

Roosting is 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.