Shooting preserves are defined areas of land up to a maximum of 1920 acres that allow the shooting of captive reared and released upland game birds from September 1 through March 31. Signs are required to be posted every 250 feet along the border of the shooting preserve. Clients that hunt on shooting preserves must possess a current hunting license for upland game birds.
All captive reared birds released on a shooting preserve must be marked prior to release in a manner that distinguishes them from wild upland game birds. A minimum of 100 upland game birds must be released from September 1 to March 31 every year the shooting preserve is licensed. All birds harvested on a shooting preserve must be marked with a “stick on tag” purchased through the department ($0.10 apiece) before the birds leave the shooting preserve. Licensees cannot harvest more than 80% of the birds that are released on a shooting preserve. A shooting preserve register must be used to record the names of the clients that hunted, their ALS number, the number of birds harvested by the client, the number of wild birds that were inadvertently harvested, and the tag numbers that were applied to all harvested birds.
The application fee for a shooting preserve is based upon the size of the shooting preserve with a charge of $100 for the first 320 acres plus $40 for each additional 160 acres or part thereof. The annual renewal fee for a shooting preserve is the same as the application fee. Licenses expire on March 31 of each year and must be renewed immediately to stay licensed.
Licensing of a shooting preserve requires that the department evaluate any potential environmental affects concerning public safety, the human environment, and the existing wildlife populations. The environmental evaluation and an inspection of the required signs must be completed prior to issuance of a license for a shooting preserve.