September Upland Hunts
September is an incredible time to experience the phenomenal wingshooting opportunities that Harpole’s Heartland Lodge has to offer. The first signs of fall tout its arrival as the gently rolling farmland around the lodge turns into a mosaic of beautiful yellows, oranges and reds. Our guides and dogs have conditioned and trained all summer for “opening day” and anxiously await for the first hunt of the year. Hunting the early season offers comfortable hunting conditions, more wild birds than any other part of the season and a variety of exciting wingshooting action.
The average daytime high’s for the month of September are in the 70’s and overnight lows are typically in the 50’s. These temperatures are ideal for our early morning and afternoon upland hunts. Typically on the morning hunt, you can count on a wet dew on the prairie grasses. Even though we mow walking strips along our milo and sorghum food plots, we still recommend wearing waterproof or water resistant boots.
On a typical morning or afternoon hunt, you can expect to walk a mile or two over gently rolling or mostly flat, “dry” terrain. We recommend bringing several lighter layers of clothing for your hunt. Moisture wicking material or cotton works just fine for those warmer days (we offer a selection of Orvis upland gear in our pro-shop at the lodge). A typical day at the lodge starts off with a homecooked breakfast served at 8 A.M. at the Prairie Ridge Lodge dining hall. You’ll enjoy a hearty breakfast served family-style with your hunting party and other upland hunters. Immediately after breakfast, you’ll meet with your upland guide and head to the upland fields. We have multiple different upland farms but the furthest is about 15 minutes away.
Once we’re in the fields, we’ll make about a 45 minute to an hour round and circle back to the truck to refresh ourselves with a water or sports drink, unload birds and change out dogs. After our break we’ll head back out to the fields for another hour or so before heading back to the lodge for lunch. After lunch, we’ll give you some time to relax, settle your food, and enjoy socializing and swapping stories with Gary and other hunters before heading back out for the afternoon hunt. We’ll have you back in time before supper which will be served at 6.
Early Season Hunting Strategy
During the early season, quail and pheasants will still be fairly dispersed throughout the countryside as food sources and suitable cover for birds is still aplenty. Ditches, water ways and small streams adjacent to our milo/ sorghum food plots create a thriving habitat of seeds and small insects.
Other Recommendations For Early Season Upland Hunters
Ask about our combo upland/ waterfowl hunts we offer at the beginning of September. Hunt the booming local Canadian geese population and migratory teal at our waterfowl pits along the Mississippi and Illinois riverways in the morning and head to the upland fields after lunch. This hunt is a great way to experience a variety of wingshooting action all in one day! Call us today for more information on this hunt! 217-734-2526
On the day of your arrival, we recommend taking advantage of our 15 station sporting clays course to help get you ready for the following days hunt.
We also offer rental ATVs, horseback riding and plenty of trails for hiking. To view the full list of activities we offer here at the lodge, Click Here>>
If you are a History Buff, you probably already know that Illinois and our area specifically has strong ties to Abraham Lincoln. Our local town, Pittsfield has several historical sites and Springfield (about an hour away) has a Lincoln Museum that is defiantly worth checking out on your way in to the lodge or during your stay.
During the month of September, several of our small towns and communities hold their town festivals. For more information on local attractions and special events click here>>
Last Updated: July 2nd, 2020