NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Hunting's Free-Enterprise Future?

February 1, 1999

In some parts of the country, privately-owned hunting clubs are springing up -- operated much like golfing clubs.

  • At one such club in Waukesha, Wis., members hunt by appointment, have access to teaching pros, practice ranges, clubhouse, locker rooms, and a fireplace and bar.
  • Members pay $695 a year for club privileges and a "bank" of 20 pen-raised pheasants -- which are released on 60- acre tracts about an hour before the member arrives.
  • Wealthy Americans have maintained similar preserves, usually on the East Coast, for many years -- but hundreds of new accommodations are springing up all over the country to accommodate mainstream hunters.
  • Entrepreneurs have succeeded in developing and raising new and superior strains of pheasants -- which were in danger of being over-hunted prior to hunting becoming a business.

Observers say such preserves have doubled in a decade to an estimated 3,500 -- compared to the nation's 16,000 golf courses. Last year, game-bird breeders raised nearly 40 million pheasants, quail, partridges and ducks for preserve shooting.

Source: James P. Sterba, "Plight of the Pheasant Frame's the Debate Over Hunting's Future," Wall Street Journal, February 1, 1999.


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