Although Lickcreek Game Preserve became licensed by the state of Illinois in 1991, the beginning was much earlier.
The property we have, was owned by my great uncle, Robert Lutticken. Uncle Bob had a profound love for hunting and fishing. He had taught my dad and his four brothers how to hunt when they were growing up in Gridley, Illinois, on my grandfather’s farm. It was about 1931 when my Dad and Uncles started what would become a family tradition that we have maintained ever since then. Each of my cousins and I were given the same training that our parents had received from Uncle Bob. We all started out carrying a broom handle and pretending it was a gun. Every bird that would flush we would pull up and shoot, as if we had guns. Only when the adults thought we were ready, did we get to move up to a BB gun. This was a MAJOR step. Once we had mastered the BB gun we were finally able to carry a shotgun. At that time we thought we were really something! I had my first shotgun when I was 10 years old and was allowed to use it with the group.
We were taught to never shoot anything we would not eat..... that safety was more important than anything else.... and last, but not least, anyone who hunted in our group was taught that it was better to miss what they intended to hit, than to blow it to smithereens; thus..... rendering it useless for consumption. On more than one occasion, our youthful enthusiasm would get the best of us and we would hit our game very hard. When that happened, we did not get to carry a gun the rest of the day. We were then relegated to the lowest category of shame a young hunter could experience.... carrying game for everyone else; THE ULTIMATE PUNISHMENT!!! It really didn't take very long to learn that we had to let the game get out a ways before the squeeze.
Every opening day of any season was like a national holiday to our family. By the time I was 10 we would have 12-15 hunters for each opening day. The men would hunt all day long. It didn't matter.....dove, squirrel, pheasant or duck. Every Saturday and Sunday until the season was over, we hunted...and hunted........
After each hunt we would go to my grandpa and grandma’s and clean the game of the day. Then we would go upstairs where grandma and all the aunts had been cooking for most of the day. The hunters all got to eat first and usually at the big table. All of the women would eat out in the kitchen. This would allow us to talk about everything that had happened during the day and not worry about getting in trouble because of what we might say, you know....HUNTER'S LANGUAGE.
I would say without a doubt that while I was growing up, our family hunts were what we looked forward to the most. Regardless who had missed a bird, everybody would give them a hard time.We laughed until we cried when some of the stories were told each year about something that had happened years before. Anyone who hunts can relate to this. I feel some of the most important things about hunting come from what you learn from the people you hunt with. More often than not, they become your best friends.
I would like to tell you now, about the beautiful grounds and surroundings of Lickcreek Game Preserve. It is still owned by Uncle Bob’s family.
He started to purchase the ground in the 1950’s. By about 1958 he was in the process of building a private 55-acre lake and a fantastic home on the lake's edge. The ground he purchased was almost 50% tillable and 50% timber and pasture. This type of terrain is perfect for our use of the property today. The total area remains at about 991 acres.
We have 7 ponds as well as the 55-acre lake. We have put about 180 acres into CRP, this gives us tremendous cover throughout the season. We also have sorghum strips and many natural waterways for hunting.
Uncle Bob hunted with us until he passed away in 1973. There was never a better sportsman or friend than Uncle Bob .It was the foundation he started back in 1931 that we try to carry forward today.
Upon his passing, his son Bill, moved down from Chicago, to live in Pekin. I was farming in Gridley with my dad, and often told Bill, someday I would be farming the ground in Pekin. He would always laugh and say why would you want to leave that good ground in Gridley to farm all these hills and timber edges? As luck would have it I was able to take over the farm in 1989. I immediately opened the fishing part of our preserve. It took me a couple of years longer to convince Bill that a hunting club would work well in central Illinois. I think he had his doubts, but in 1991 he gave me the go ahead. We have not looked back since.
Had it not been for Uncle Bob, Bill, and his family. Lickcreek Game Preserve would not exist today. I, as well as all who have hunted here, owe them a great deal of thanks for letting us share this magnificent property with all of our members and guest since 1991.
We are going into our12th year this season. We look forward to meeting new hunters as well as maintaining all of our friendships and clients from past seasons.
Our goal has always been to give our hunters what they want....... outstanding terrain, great cover, and a safe and friendly atmosphere. We will work with you in every way we can to make your experience here the best it can be. Give us a try, you won’t be sorry.
Thanks for checking out our web page. Give us a call 309-347-7191
Yours for the "Enjoyment of Hunting"........Jeff Yergler