Field trip to Nilo Farms

King Buck

Everyone loves King Buck! (Lacy with Audubon Missouri staff and board members)

I recently had the pleasure of visiting Nilo Farms as a guest of Olin expert and local radio host Larry Reid. In 1950, John M. Olin established Nilo Farms (Olin spelled backward), a hunting preserve and hunting dog kennel/ training facility on 640 acres in Brighton, Illinois. Olin, a successful businessman and avid outdoorsman, used Nilo Farms to promote the sports of duck and upland game hunting, game management, and conservation. Olin owned one of the most recognized dogs in sporting history, “King Buck,” a black Labrador retriever who was the first dog to appear on a postage stamp and notably the most famous dog in the world of duck hunting. I’d been excited about going to Nilo Farms since I started doing research for the Nature Institute and John M. Olin displays at the library, and it was incredible to look at artwork and photographs at the clubhouse, visit King Buck’s grave, and see the actual trophies won by King Buck and other famous dogs.

If you’d like to see (and pet) King Buck’s statue yourself, make sure to visit Nilo Farms this Saturday, September 28: National Hunting and Fishing Day. President Richard Nixon declared the last Saturday of September National Hunting and Fishing Day in 1972. Nilo Farms has celebrated by providing free tours and exhibitions to the public on this day ever since.  The grounds will be open 9am – 4pm and there will be various demonstrations throughout the day, including dog shows at 10am and 1pm.