Small Talk


by Don Bekeleski


The hunting seasons are starting in Illinois!

Some open now soon—Dove—Squirrel open now. I agree it is hard to find a place to hunt in Illinois North of Interstate 80. Farmers won’t let  people in because they may damage property or sue. There is a law in Illinois that if a landowner let’s people hunt his land and ‘does not charge’ any money, the hunters cannot sue them, because he gave them the privilege to hunt.

There are a lot of acres that are open to hunting through the DNR. They have talked to landowners to open their land to hunting and the hunters cannot sue them either. The landowner is free from lawsuits and the hunters have to agree that they are on their own when it comes to an injury while hunting their land. 

Of course the DNR also operates many Pheasant hunting areas too for a fee, which you apply online for permits. The good part about those areas is that they release the number of birds paid for!!  It is not like before when the DNR was releasing birds and they were releasing 1.5 birds per hunter, when every hunter was allowed two birds. Now it’s right up to snuff. 

They claim a lot of hunters have slacked off hunting doves. For the life of me I don’t know why. Those birds are very fast erratic targets and you know you made a good shot when you hit one.  I believe more shot is wasted on doves than any other game bird. Another thing about doves is that if they are in the area, you won’t have to wait long for another target to come by. 

Squirrels are cagey game. Sometimes they pop up right in front of you and other times you will have to stalk them like a deer to get close enough for a shot, without spooking them.  It’s exciting to get in the woods when barely light. When it gets a little lighter you see a limb bounce when a squirrel jumps form one tree to another—then the adrenalin starts to pump.

Whatever your game is to introduce a beginner, He won’t stop thanking you. 

If hunting isn’t your bag, take them to a range. Do some shotgun or pistol, whichever they prefer or both. Be sure to ask their wives or any other women to go along. It used to be a man’s thing, but it isn’t any longer. More women are applying for CC permits and also more are showing up at the range.

It’s great family fun and it will bring a family together even tighter.  So many minds can be changed through one of these experiences. That’s what we need to do is change people’s minds to show them guns are nothing to fear, but instead to enjoy.

You never know—they just might join the ISRA because of your kindness. Don’t pass up that opportunity!

Additional commentary of past articles by Don Bekeleski can be found here:  
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This article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the official position of the ISRA.

Webmaster's note:
Have you ever questioned whether you can actually give the gift of a firearm? Is that a straw sale? We found the following text in the ATF 4473 form helpful, pertaining to question 11a:

Question 11.a. Actual Transferee/Buyer:
For purposes of this form, you are the actual buyer if you are purchasing the firearm for yourself or otherwise acquiring the firearm for yourself (e.g., redeeming the firearm from pawn/retrieving it from consignment, firearm raffle winner). You are also the actual buyer if you are acquiring the firearm as a legitimate gift for a third party. ACTUAL BUYER EXAMPLES: Mr. Smith asks Mr. Jones to purchase a firearm for Mr. Smith. Mr. Smith gives Mr. Jones the money for the firearm. Mr. Jones is NOT THE ACTUAL TRANSFEREE/BUYER of the firearm and must answer "NO" to question 11a. The licensee may not transfer the firearm to Mr. Jones. However, if Mr. Brown goes to buy a firearm with his own money to give to Mr. Black as a present, Mr. Brown is the actual buyer of the firearm and should answer "YES" to question 11a. However, you may not transfer a firearm to any person you know or have reasonable cause to believe is prohibited under 18 U.S.C. § 922(g), (n), or (x).


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