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Pheasants Forever event a big hit with families

Youngsters can enjoy variety outdoor activities Family Fun Day. Last year Brendan Yee Antioch got fire sling shot. | SUN-TIMES

Youngsters can enjoy a variety of outdoor activities at Family Fun Day. Last year, Brendan Yee of Antioch got to fire a sling shot. | SUN-TIMES MEDIA FILE PHOTO

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Updated: October 30, 2012 6:03AM

It was a sweet day for shoots and giggles.

The fourth annual Lake County Pheasants Forever Family Fun Day was held last Saturday at the grounds of the Northern Illinois Conservation Club in Antioch. “We just look at it as a day to get the family outdoors,” said Jack Fields, president of the club.

“We had trap shooting and BB guns for the younger kids,” he said. Teenagers and some wives got a chance to shoot a gun for the first time.

“We shot 720 clay pigeons. We had about 10 people who shot a gun for the first time,” said Fields.

“We had to take them away from the trap shooting to get them to eat,” he said.

There was free food, music, games and raffles.

The club members meet the first Tuesday of the month at the NICC grounds, which is just off Route 83, south of Route 173. Fellowship and food starts at 6:30 p.m. and the business meeting starts at 7 p.m.. New members are always welcome. Contact Fields at (847) 274-3958 or through e-mail at

Every year, the club has a banquet at the Antioch Moose Lodge and the next event is scheduled for Feb. 23. Couples are encouraged to attend and there is a real pheasant dinner and auction. “We sold out last year. We had about 130 people,” said Fields.

The club has raised about $12,000 over the last four years and they are interested in trying to plant strips of grasses and food plants around farmers’ fields. The national club has a special seeding program that encourages farmers to plant to give pheasants and other grassland birds areas to nest, feed or hide from predators.

“Eventually, we would like to get with the Lake County Forest Preserve; they farm a lot of land, and with grain prices so high, the farmers are planting right up the edge of the field,” he said. “We want to plant a strip that’s 10, 15 or 20 feet wide around the fields for habitat,” he said.

That wouldn’t be the first time the forest preserve worked with a hunt club, Rollins Savanna Forest Preserve had some wetland work funded by the local Ducks Unlimited group that is also based out of Antioch.

Here’s to working together any way we can. I joined Lake County Pheasants Forever when they were first created and continue as a member.

Clean-up in Waukegan

Join the Youth Conservation Corps’ Waukegan South Beach clean-up on Saturday (today) from 9 a.m. to noon at 10 Sea Horse Drive, Waukegan. This is part of the Alliance for Great Lakes and Ocean’s Conservancy’s 27th Annual International Coastal Clean-up. The corps has assisted in this event since 2008.

Bee There

The Lake-to-Prairie chapter of Wild Ones, a national not-for-profit organization that promotes the use of native plants in landscapes, will hold an informative session on Tuesday at 7:15 p.m. on Native Bees: Habitat needs and How We Can Help by Rebecca Tonietto, Plant Biology and Conservation Ph.D. student.

It is a free event will be held at the Freemont Public Library, 1170 N. Midlothian Road, Mundelein.

For directions call (847) 940-9482.

Believe it or not, Illinois boasts 500 species of native bees—metallic green and blue bees that look nothing like the fuzzy yellow and black icons we have all come to know and love. Did you know the majority of native bees are solitary and do not live in hives and only females have stingers?

Learn more at the event.

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