October 04, 2019

SIU’s Veteran Adventures sponsoring three fall hunting adventures

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Three special hunting adventures await veterans this fall courtesy of Veteran Adventures at Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Touch of Nature Environmental Center.

Registration is underway for a sporting clays event, a pheasant hunt and a deer camp.

Sporting clays

The Sporting clays event will be Oct. 26 at the Rend Lake Shooting Complex in Whittington. Participants will be able to shoot 100 clay targets on the simulated-hunting course.

Veteran Adventures will cover the cost of the targets and provide complementary food and drinks. Ammunition and guns/gun rental are not included. Those attending can rent or purchase shooting equipment at the complex or bring their own. Those who bring their own guns and ammunition must bring a valid Illinois Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) card.

Free transportation from Touch of Nature to the shooting complex is available at 8:30 a.m. Participants may also meet at the shooting complex, located at 11738 Conversation Lane in Whittington.

The clay shoot begins at 10 a.m.

Registration is free but limited to the first 12 people to sign up. The deadline to register is Oct. 19.

Pheasant hunt

 The fourth annual controlled peasant hunt is Nov. 30 at Wayne Fitzgerrell State Recreation Area.

Hunters can harvest two pheasants each. Touch of Nature handles the hunting permit and local sportsmen will provide hunting dogs. Participants must possess a valid Illinois Hunting license and bring their own guns and ammunition.

The hunt is free but limited to the first 10 people to sign up. Shuttle transportation will be available from Touch of Nature to Wayne Fitzgerrell State Park at 6 a.m.

The deadline to sign up is Nov. 15.

Whitetail deer camp

The sixth annual Veteran Adventures Deer Camp will take place Dec. 13-15 at Touch of Nature, located about eight miles south of Carbondale on Giant City Road. Hunters will be able to bow hunt for whitetail deer at Touch of Nature’s 3,100-acre site along Little Grassy Lake. They will learn about ancestral hunting skills, trapping, wildlife management and field dressing/butchering game from guest speakers.

All food, lodging, gear, deer stands, guides and everything needed for the hunt are provided. The deadline to register is Dec. 6.

Open to all vets, active duty and reserves

Veteran Adventures was created to help ease the transition from military life to civilian life for veterans and to help them forge connections and have a good time over shared outdoor experiences. Thanks to fundraising efforts by Touch of Nature and the Veteran Adventures program, all activities are free for veterans. The events are open to all veterans, current service members and members of the National Guard, Reserves and ROTC.

Register online

Online signup for each of the fall Veteran Adventures events is available. For additional information, visit the website at https://ton.siu.edu/program-areas/veteran-adventures/, email nemooutdoors@gmail.com or call 618/453-3953.