Your Wing-Shooting Experience

Our clients are all special to us and we want their visit at Heartland to be memorable. We strive to be the best and we are committed to providing our guests with a wonderful hunting experience. So, while we are preparing for the upcoming season you, as the hunter, should prepare as well. A few things you can do in the off season to get ready for your hunt are to shoot as much as you can, get into the routine of a brisk mile or two walk, as well as condition your dog if you have one.


By shooting as much as possible the next few months at a trap or skeet range it will help you become more accurate in the field. Here at Heartland, we offer a sporting clay course to help you do just that. Bring your spouse or hunting partner to enjoy a stay with us and sharpen your shooting skills. Just be sure to reserve ahead of time. (Call 217-734-2526)


Getting into a routine of taking a brisk one – two-mile walk will get you in shape to walk the fields. You can start small and work your way up. Make sure you include uphill and downhill slopes. We do have some areas that are somewhat level, but the terrain includes hills as well. A normal all day upland hunt we will walk five to seven miles. Conditioning your legs now will improve your hunts success come this fall.


If you have a dog, it is important that you condition it as well. It will need to be exercised, as well as worked, to get ready for the upcoming season. I have seen a lot of clients come to hunt and halfway through the first day their dog shuts down. It’s not enough just to let it run around the back yard.  Working your dog will help it build up its endurance to last the whole day and minimizes its recovery time, allowing it to hunt multiple hunts. Now is the best time to tone your dog up for the upcoming season.

By incorporating these few steps in your preparations, I am sure that you and your dog will have a pleasant hunting experience come fall. We look forward to seeing you in the field this fall!

Have a great day!


Gary Harpole

Harpole’s Heartland Lodge


Last Updated: October 19th, 2023

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