ABOUT THE PRESERVE
2nd Generation Family-Owned Business
The original family farm was purchased in 1897 by the McCallum family, who emigrated to Canada from Scotland. The 250 acre farm had over 100 acres of unproductive land, with two separate ravine systems on the farm that fed into the bordering Thames River.
Over the years the land has been used to farm various crops and livestock, and ownership was passed down over multiple generations of McCallums.
In 1993, Dan McCallum hunted at a distant game preserve. After returning home, he evaluated his own property. Dan realized, with proper habitat management, his property could offer hunters an excellent upland hunting experience. Demand was high as there were no other established game farms in the area. Autumn Olive Game Preserve was created in the fall of 1994.
Aerial photograph of the original homestead c.1995
Previously in 1988, the neighbouring 200 acres across the road had over 10000 seedlings planted, mostly white pine trees. Along the road, a row of Autumn Olive bushes were planted. These produce a small red berry which is a favourite of all birds, and is where the name originates.
After a devastating fire at the original homestead/clubhouse, the new log cabin clubhouse was built in 2007. In 2020, a small Ducks Unlimited pond was added to the property. The operation has expanded to over 450 acres of licensed game preserve and now offers whitetail and turkey hunting.
Dan McCallum passed away in 2010 and Jean in 2021. Their son Andrew has taken over both farm and preserve operations and is proud to celebrate 29 years in business in 2023. Andrew continues to make improvements to the property in order to offer hunters a premium experience.