Pheasants Forever acquires land in Knox County for pheasant hunting

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record
Pheasants Forever has acquired ground in Knox County for pheasant hunting.

Illinois' Knox County Pheasants Forever chapter and partners have recently acquired more than 1,000 acres in Knox County that will be opened to public hunting  and outdoor recreation. The Knox County Pheasants Forever chapter will celebrate this successful wildlife habitat project at its 18th annual fundraising banquet on Friday, Oct. 1 in Galesburg.

Approximately half the land (493 acres) will be turned over to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and opened to public hunting, fishing and outdoor recreation as a public wildlife management area. The remaining 508 acres will be owned and managed by The Forever Land Trust, a subsidiary of Pheasants Forever. The Forever Land Trust property will also be open to public hunting and other compatible uses.  

The 1,001 acre property was acquired in three tracts from the Anderson family (Richard and Caroline Anderson and the Virginia L. Anderson Trust). The property is reclaimed strip mine ground that has been used for cattle pasturing, and thus is ideal for grassland restoration. It also contains 8 large lakes that will provide excellent angling opportunities for the public. "This is a great wildlife habitat project for two reasons," says Aaron Kuehl, Pheasants Forever's Director of Conservation in Illinois, "It permanently protects habitat, and it creates an area countless  others will enjoy."

In addition to the Knox County Pheasants Forever chapter, partners contributing to the acquisition include the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, the Grand Victoria Foundation, the Illinois  Clean Energy Community Foundation, the Rock Island County Pheasants Forever chapter, the Illinois Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever State Council and the Illinois Build a Wildlife Area campaign.

David Shragal, president of the Knox County Pheasants Forever chapter, says the new wildlife area will also create outdoor opportunities for hunters and anglers decades down the road. "For families to spend time outdoors, for youngsters to go on their first pheasant hunt, there needs to be places to do it," he said, "Our chapter is proud to be part of Pheasants Forever's No  Child Left Indoors® initiative to get kids interested in outdoor activities.  Providing wild places is a great first step."

Pheasants Forever provides local chapters the ability to control the funds they raise. "Our annual fundraising banquets have been critical to generating the funding needed for a project such as the Anderson property acquisition," Shragal said, "Our upcoming banquet will be a great way to thank members and supporters for their contributions to this project, and start building toward the next one." 

The Knox County Pheasants Forever chapter's 18th annual banquet will be on Friday, Oct. 1 at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Galesburg. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. For tickets or more information, contact David Shragal at (309) 253-7765.

The Anderson property is located two miles east of Victoria, Illinois at the junction of State Highways 167 & 180. 

Illinois is home to 43 Pheasants Forever chapters, 18 Quail Forever chapters and more than 9,500 Pheasants Forever and/or Quail Forever members. For information, visit the Illinois Pheasants Forever Website.