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Voice: Fee-based hunting in the Imperial Valley worked for him

January 13, 2001

That area surrounding El Centro has always provided opportunities for the sportsman interested in hunting the variety of upland game found in this area.

The opportunities were often found to be somewhat tainted by the behavior of many of the hunters. Landowners oftentimes found their crops trampled, machinery damaged, animals shot, children frightened and a whole variety of situations that are best described as unfortunate.

This fall my son and I took advantage of that opportunity provided by Michael and Ben Abatti of Abatti Farms to hunt their land on a fee basis. The program allowed us to hunt any one of a number of well-posted fields only on Saturdays and Sundays during the pheasant season. All hunters were required to check in and check out each day, abide by all department of Fish and Game-mandated rules and regulations and practice those safety precautions insisted on by the Abattis.

Our experiences were memorable — we thoroughly enjoyed each and every day we spent in the field. There was never any worry about the legality of where we were hunting and we were checked daily by the hired security patrol to make sure our presence was legitimate. The Abattis have designed and implemented a program that other landowners should mimic. It is a program that will ensure that future opportunities for sportsman will exist in the El Centro area, a program that is based on those values dealing with conservation, sportsmanship and safety and a program that benefits both the landowner and the sportsman.

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NICK CORSELLI

Riverside

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