PERRY COUNTY’S PUBLIC HUNTING PARADISE   Leave a comment

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Located about 70 miles southeast of St. Louis and 300 miles southwest of Chicago, Perry County contains all the best of rural Illinois.  The Mississippi River lies 30 miles to the west of the county line.  One finds hundreds of acres of strip pits with fish and of public hunting.

This county with a population of about 25,000 is composed of flat land with rolling hills.  Originally founded by settlers in search of its vast coal deposits, it soon became home for many strip mining operations.  The coal was near the surface and therefore companies did not have to dig deep shafts to remove it.

Best known of the public hunting areas is Pyramid State Park, Illinois largest state park.  The park is southwest of Pinckneyville, Illinois.  To get there one takes Illinois State Highway 127 six miles south to Pyatts blacktop and then two miles west to the entrance of the park.

The areas of the park have names according to their acquisition.  They are Pyramid State Park (3,181-acres), Captain Unit (6,105-acres), Denmark Unit (4,385-acres), East Conant Unit (2,824-acres), and Galum Unit (2,520-acres).

Over all, the park is heavily forested hills with numerous lakes and ponds.  It was a strip mining operation for a shallow vein of coal and afterward the deed transferred to the state of Illinois.  All strip mined areas received plantings of hardwoods and pines.  Small fields sprinkled throughout the property contain planted food plots.  The outer edges of the park have cornfields which attract waterfowl and deer in season.

Beginning in 2002, this site became a Quality Deer Management Area.  This means that only antlerless or antlered deer having at least four points on a side are harvestable.  The rule applies to all methods of deer hunting.

Hunting is available for deer, dove, woodcock, turkey, rabbit, squirrel, quail and waterfowl.  All hunters must register by signing in and out at hunter registration boxes where hey list their harvest information.  There are a number of site specific regulations that are posted on the property and available on line at http://dnr.state.il.us/lands/Landmgt/hunter_fact sheet/R5HFS/pyr.htm.

All other state regulations as to licenses and permits apply.

Regulations that apply specifically to the East Conant Unit include such things as special permits for deer and quail hunting.  Upland hunters must wear a cap and outer garment of solid and vivid blaze orange of at least 400 square inches.

East Conant is a little different typography.  It is mostly large crop fields interspersed with fencerows and two large blocks of forest.  Like the rest of the park, hunter quotas and other site specific restrictions are in effect to improve the hunting experience.  Annually this park and unit account for the harvest of over 6,000 mammals and birds.  Included in the figure are some 3,000 ducks, over 400 geese, 1900 dove, 200 squirrels, and 200 quail as well as other species.  About 150 deer are included in the harvest.

Most of these same game animals come from another Perry County public hunting area called Campbell Pond Wildlife Management Area.  This 520 acre land and water reserve reached by traveling east south of DuQuoin on Illinois Route 14 for 1.5 miles and then south on Crabapple road for 2.3 miles.  Then go east on Jellybean road.

The area contains 500-acres of hardwood with 15-acres of old field and 5-acres of water bordered by crop land on all sides.

The site specific regulations are basically the same as for Pyramid State Park.  The game officials of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources from Pyramid State Park oversee both areas.  For more information contact Pyramid

State Park, 1562 Pyramid Park Road, Pinckneyville, IL62274.  The telephone number is 9618)357-2574.

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