Hunt for Birds From Here
A new website gives hunters “a place to hunt for bird hunting places,” and offers visitors a chance to win one of nine giveaway hunts valued together at more than $34,000. The services and sweepstakes are free.

The site,, is from the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), a nonprofit trade association working to keep sportsmen safe and active.

Anchoring the site is an easy-to-use search tool for daily-fee bird hunting preserves. The leader in listings for hunting and shooting destinations, Black’s Wing & Clay, Waterfowl, in print for the past 12 years, provided data on over 1,000 preserves nationwide. By clicking on a U.S. map, visitors can find a bird hunting spot close to home or across the country.

That today’s hunting preserves are convenient and numerous is a message reinforced by Wingshooting USA’s Dream Hunts Sweepstakes.

Nine hunts will be given away. Each will give two people a totally unique bird hunting experience in a different part of the country. The North American Gamebird Association, an organization that promotes quality standards for hunting preserves, arranged the hunts. A winner could land a quail hunting adventure at a Southern plantation, or a high-plains excursion for pheasant and chukar.

See complete sweepstakes prize descriptions, official rules and entry form at (No purchase necessary. Sweepstakes open to legal residents of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia, age 21 or older. Ends February 28, 2006.)

“With Wingshooting USA, we’re reaching out with a message that highlights the wide range of benefits offered by today’s hunting preserves. Whether it’s a group of hunting buddies looking for an action-packed day afield, or someone searching for an ideal place to introduce a newcomer, that ‘best hunt of the year’ is really only a phone call away,” said Doug Painter, president of NSSF.

Painter explained that modern preserves offer knowledgeable guides, good cover, great dog work, strong-flying birds, and a wide range of services and accommodations.

In a national survey, hunters identified their top five issues as 1.) Not enough access to places to hunt, 2.) Not having enough places to hunt, 3.) Work obligations, 4.) Poor behavior of other hunters, and 5.) Too many hunters in the field.

“Aside from work obligations, all of these problems disappear when you book a customized hunt with today’s hunting preserves. And with many facilities within an hour or so from big cities, a quality hunting experience can be enjoyed on a weekend morning or afternoon,” said Painter.

Bob Bledsoe, a bird hunter and outdoor writer from Oklahoma, agrees, predicting that preserve hunting is, “the wave of the future for most of us.”

“With wild quail populations seriously declined in much of the country, and with lease fees rising and access getting more and more difficult to obtain, preserves are a great way to get in a day or two of shooting. I know of several nearby preserves priced within reach of a working guy. It costs far less to go shoot a half-dozen pheasants or a dozen quail at a preserve than it does to drive to western Kansas on $2.75 a gallon gasoline, rent a motel room for a couple of nights, buy a $70 hunting license, and walk 15 miles for less shooting,” explained Bledsoe.

The website is basically a toolbox to help hunters overcome these obstacles, said Painter.

Many preserves also offer a wide variety of outdoor activities including sporting clays, 3D archery, fishing, youth hunter safety classes, family events, dog training, handicap business meeting areas, lodging, dining, and camping.

In 2003, the gamebird farming and hunting preserve industries injected over $1.6 billion into the nation’s economy, stimulating nearly $5 billion in total commerce.

The conservation impact is significant, too. Hunting preserves protect wildlife and habitat in otherwise shrinking landscapes. In 2005, hunting preserves maintained over 16 million acres, protecting them from development, safeguarding landscapes, and keeping the land in the hands of families who have worked it for generations.

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