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Illinois hunting and fishing

Illinois Deer & Turkey Classic recap

March 02, 2009 at 08:53 AM

Illinois hunting and fishing

Deer Classic info

Dates— Friday through Sunday, March 1

Hours— Friday 2-9 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Sunday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Tickets— Adults $10 one-day, $17 two-day, $23 three-day; Military personnel tickets $9 one-day, $15 two-day, $20 three-day; $7 for Hunter Education graduates ages 12-18 who show proof of course completion at the ticket window (otherwise, pay adult price); $3 youth ages 6-11, children five and under admitted free when accompanied by adult. On Friday Family Night all youth ages 11 and under are admitted free when accompanied by an adult.The three-day adult ticket and military ticket are new.

Trophy contest— Cost is $15 and includes a three-day pass.

 

Whether you like seeing big bucks, talking about big bucks or hearing about big bucks, the Illinois Deer & Turkey Classic can usually satisfy any of those needs.

And this year was no different. Though the overall head count was down for mounts (500 versus 605 last year) and for Boone and Crockett Club entries (33 this year compared to 48 last year) the crowd was up 40 percent on Friday and appeared to be up Saturday.

Here are the 20 Boone and Crockett Club non-typical qualifiers.

Here are the 13 Boone and Crockett Club typical qualifiers.

Here are the Best of Show winners:

TYPICAL ANTLERS
Gun: 184 2/8 inches—John Graber, Monee, Williamson County, 2007
Bow: 176 6/8 inches—Clark Piper, Paris, Edgar County, 2008
Black powder: 172 4/8 inches—Michael Wozniak, Brimfield, Peoria County, 2008

NON-TYPICAL ANTLERS
Gun: 222 5/8 inches—Gregory Wilson, Litchfield, Montgomery County, 2007
Bow: 219 2/8—Scott Fiala, Enfield, White County, 2008
Black powder: 222 1/8, Jeremy Cauble, Ramsey, Fayette County, 2008

The early leader was Jeremy Cauble’s 222-inch Fayette County gun kill. Cauble brought his deer to the show early Friday.

Not far behind the Cauble buck is Ransom Brooks’ Richland County gun kill (pictured above in the display area). Brooks’ buck was officially scored at 218 3/8 inches on Friday by veteran Boone & Crockett Club scorer Tim Walmsley, founder of the Illinois Deer & Turkey Classic years ago back in Decatur. While the final score was a few inches less than Brooks initially expected, the youngster was all smiles as he toured the show with his father.

Other bucks arrived Saturday, including Brock Tarr’s big 21-point Jasper County bow kill. Anther surprise visit came Saturday when new Department of Natural Resources director Marc Miller stopped by the booth. Miller didn’t have long to visit, since he was headed to the Illinois Conservation Foundation’s Illinois Outdoor Hall of Fame banquet in St. Charles. But he visited several booths during his brief stop and took time to pose for a picture in half of our spacious booth.

Illinois hunting and fishing

Sunday brought yet another surprise buck from White County, Scott Fiala’s 219 2/8-inch bow kill. More about that in the days to come as we pull together three days worth of scribbled notes in a notebook.

Beyond those top bucks are several mounts that top 200 inches including the following:

216 1/8—Rodney Williams’ 22-point Jasper County muzzleloader buck.

215 2/8—Michael Belshaw’s 16-point Hancock County gun kill.

214 2/8—Scott Lemmon’s 18-point Perry County bow kill (pictured below in one of several impressive full-body mounts displayed this weekend. For some reason, most of them seem to come from Perry County).

Illinois hunting and fishing

213 7/8—Donnie Krull’s 23-point Randolph County gun kill.

209 7/8—Leslie Gordon’s 25-point Perry County bow kill from the 2006 season.

207 6/8—Jacob Landon’s Knox County 16-point gun kill.

207 5/8—Mark Nordstrom’s 16-point Henry County gun kill from the 2007 season.

206 5/8—Michael Kuhn’s Jasper County 19-point gun kill.

200 5/8—Chad Landrum’s 15-point Edgar County bow kill from the 2007 season. Incidentally, this was Landrum’s first deer.

200 1/8—Rodney Armstrong’s 20-point Marion County bow kill from Oct. 7, 2008 that grossed 206 6/8 inches.

The highest-scoring typical overall was this 2007 kill:

184 2/8—John Graber’s 10-point Williamson County gun kill (pictured below).

Illinois hunting and fishing

Your CommentsComments :: Terms :: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

you need a bigger building,i went for the first and last time last year.don’t get me wrong i’m sure the vendors loved it but it was like getting herded in a cattle shute going down the aisles.there were several vendors i’d of like to talked to but it wasn’t worth the pushing and shoving it took to get to them.we finally bought a couple beers and took in a seminar on big game hunting which was nice to take a break from the crowds,but it was only short lived.granted we did go on saturday but surely you organizers are aware of the overcrowded stockyard you’ve got on your hands.i’ll probably take some heat for this little rant,but alot of people felt like we did last year.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 02/21 at 05:57 PM

they need to put all of the stuff nod directly related to deer and turkey hunting in another area! then if you have the urge to buy a bumper sticker or t-shirt you can go shop over there and not be bothered by the hunters that want to go to the classic and look at deer and hunting related equipment!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 02/21 at 06:09 PM

I wish the Classic was back in Peoria.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 02/21 at 08:05 PM

I agree. Ive been to the classic for a good 10 straight years or so and it’s kind of a let down each year. Aside from looking at big racks for 30 minutes, the rest of the event is jam packed and stressful just to make your way around.  It is roughly the same vendors year after year. I’ll go again this year, but unless you go on friday night it is like cattle getting forced in a trailer.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 02/21 at 08:48 PM

I agree with all of the previous post’s.  I haven’t been to the show in at least 5 years because of the reasons that are posted above.  I tried to go there on a Friday and was disappointed to see that hardly any of contestants in the big buck contest were hung up on display.  I won’t go back on Friday and I won’t go Saturday and Sunday due to the large crowds. I guess they just need a new venue.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 02/22 at 10:18 AM

Alot of people would like to see the Classic return to Peoria, including me.  It is like a bunch of cattle being herded through a chute.  It is almost a joke.  I have been going since the days they had it at Springfield fair grounds.  Alot of people have voiced their concerns to the promoter and still no change. I guess it must be a money issue.  As long as it continues to stay down there the more miserable it will be for people who have paid their hard earned money to enter the site. I like taking my children and it is almost a living nightmare having them in the crowd. They claim every year that they have opened up more space but it is only filled with more BS that takes up more room.  I am sorry I don’t go to the Deer classic to see a chiropractor or someone selling duck decoys, buttons, and old licenses.  Theres other venues for that. Lets keep it on deer and turkeys and keep the other crap out.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 02/22 at 11:46 AM

I like it a lot. I wish were back in P-Town but oh well. Walk around and sip a beer or two and it’s all good!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 02/25 at 10:50 AM

Yes, the layout and the room was much better in Peoria.  I have a head I would that I would like to have measured.  I also know that this rack is just another head in a show like this.  I am more curious than anything, but when you factor in the new pricing policy, along with the gas to drive there(I would only go one day), it really is not worth the effort. This along with what I saw of the vendors in the recent past, there was little there that held much of my interest.  I guess I will be sitting this one out.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 02/26 at 11:49 PM

I would agree.  They put on a good show, but it is crowded.  I have a lot of friends that stop going because they can’t even get up to the booths.  I would love to see it back in Peoria.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 02/27 at 08:25 AM

I totally agree, the crowds are horrible! Very frustrating!  It needs a better venue!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 02/28 at 11:24 AM

I have been going to the classic since it was in Springfield as well, but it keeps getting worse.  Every year since it left Peoria it has gotten progressively worse. The parking situation is a joke, the traffic this morning was un-real how there were no accidents I don’t know. The venue is to small and there is not enough room to walk let alone actually talk to someone. Also what is with all the non-hunting related vendors, such as lawn mowers. They should consider grouping the vendors in related areas so that if for instance you don’t want to talk to an outiftter or hunt club you don’t have to go down that area. I think that the show has really lost its focus on what it started out as. I did attend Gary Clany’s decoy seminar however and it was insightful as was the guy who spoke on ballistics. Anyway enough of that April cannot get here fast enough.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 02/28 at 05:54 PM

Promoter needs to listen to the public more often..
I had six friends go at 10 A.M. and they called me and said not to come as you couldn’t get around and that it really sucked.  They lost six people that I know.  I went later and it was better but the general concensus from all the people I talked to said it was too crowded and that its a pain in the a**.  I am gonna try Iowa deer Classic next year to see if its any better.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 02/28 at 07:51 PM

I can tell you that from 5-7 p.m. it was very easy to get around. In fact, it was almost quiet. But the early Saturday crowd was impressively huge.

Posted by Jeff Lampe on 02/28 at 08:44 PM

I went for the first time yesterday and it was ridiculous!  It took over an hour just to go from the 74 off ramp to get to the turn into the IS Center.  All of the booths were so randomly put together that you couldn’t tell if you were going to go by a decal booth or a quail unlimited society next! The seminars were informative but it was way too crowded.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/01 at 07:52 AM

fyi- drive in on the EAST entrance. i showed up at 11am saturday and was in and parked within 3 minutes. the bad part was you dont even wanna make your way down the aisles because you got some bodys front side bumpin into your back side all day long. stayed an hour and left.

one recommendation though, the classic needs to limit the crappy venders! lol. i know its difficult to do that, but there are more DVD selling booths there than anything else.  if ya seen one hunting dvd you have seen em all!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/01 at 03:14 PM

The building is horrible…. it used to be something to look forward too… cure the cabin fever but the crowd just makes it more work then fun!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/01 at 09:04 PM

This was the first time in 5 years that I have missed the IL deer classic. We choose to try a deer show up in Wisconsin later this month March 28 and 29. The show is at Wisconsin Dells Chula Visa Waterpark convention center. We are bringing the kids to try out the water park while I check out the deer show. Check out: http://www.chulavistaresort.com/NAHSExpo/files/2009_files/Exhibitor Show Information-2009.pdf

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/02 at 08:35 AM

i actually saved money there this year…....
i wanted to buy a few things but didn’t have the time to shuffle back through for another 2 hour journey (i looked at many things once) and then
watned to go back through and purchase but it was just too crowded….. so i left….....
i have a ten minute drive to the show and would still rather it went back to Peoria…....
maybe i can spend the time i want at the show in Iowa next week or in Madison, WI… sad all that is here and a guy/gal/family really can’t enjoy it..

it really cheats the vendor out of some money to be made

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/02 at 10:38 AM

I suggested to the promoter last year about seperating the outfitters from the hunting vendors and he said it would upset the outfitters.  Who cares! 

I get tired of hearing all the duck calls. It is almost impossable to talk to someone when someone is blowing a duck call in your ear.  It is the Deer & Turkey Classic, not the Duck Classic.  I like duck hunting too but I am there to find info on Deer and Turkey.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/02 at 01:04 PM

This was my first and last year to attend the classic.  i went with some family members.  It was so crowded we couldn’t hardly see anything and if you stopped to look at something you held up the flow of people because it stopped everything.  Unless this is located at a different facility, we will not be back and I have told others the same thing.  It was very disappointing.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/02 at 01:36 PM

I agree with illbowhunter.
There was a waterfowl and fishing expo a month ago.  Keep it simple with the deer and turkey hunting.  The decal section took up the first two aisles when you walk into the place!  That was a traffic jam in and of itself.
I stood next to some dumbass blowing a foiles call for 15 minutes, while shuffling through the line. (And he couldn’t blow worth a crap either)
Blond girls with big boobs selling mowers doesn’t help out my hunting knowledge, just maybe my eyes!
I just moved over here from Peoria and I would go back to the peoria venue!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/02 at 03:51 PM

The classis is nothing but an embarrassment for Illinois.  For the quality of deer hunting Illinois has to offer, it is a shame it is a county fairground site. I find it hard to believe that a fire code wasn’t being violated with that many people, there is no way you could get all the people out of there safely if there was a fire, let alone a fire truck trying to get the IC.  I couldn’t believe there weren’t vendors set up in that tent that connected the buildings, yes, you have to walk thru a tent! I feel bad for the vendors, I am sure that they didn’t get a chance to talk to all the people that wanted to visit there booths. Was Blago involved in this discussion to have it at the IC? It is time to move it back to Peoria and give the people and the vendor’s room to enjoy the show.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/02 at 04:14 PM

Im headed to the Iowa deer Classic Sunday, its put on by a different promoter and from what I hear its alot better show, better organized and more space. My last Illinois classic was Saturday.  When you have to worry about your children getting trampled or lost thats enough for me.  So far the worse thing I see about the Iowa deer classic is that Chris Brackett is giving seminars, but seeing Tiffany Lakoski will make up for that.  LOL

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/02 at 04:19 PM

Chris Brackett… No way, not the man who “invented” bowfishing for carp… My hero.

Talked to him at Presley’s while shooting over there a year ago, what a cocky jerk!  Have fun!
I agree with you ilbowhunter and middlecreek about the fire hazard.  They are lucky.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/02 at 04:38 PM

Ilbowhunter, you will enjoy the Iowa deer classic. I am an Illinois hunter who did not want to fight the mess in Illinois anymore so started going to Iowa deer classic about 5 years ago. Great show with great speakers and there are some monster deer in Iowa. Oh and by the way Tiffany will be sore on your eyes. HAHA

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/02 at 09:00 PM

Glad to hear that and I am sure Tiffany will be sore to my eyes.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/02 at 10:37 PM

I also went to the classic this past weekend.  in general i liked it.  crowds sucked.  it was nice to visit the pso booth.  my biggest complaint was that the people who brought in their racks not yet mounted were place on the floor where they could not be enjoyed!  it seemed to be an injustice to them…  that definately needs to be addressed.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/02 at 10:45 PM

The Deer Classic is cramp on space. I agree that misc. booths should be along the back wall. Dont get me wrong on this one, I use to do this. Those who whant a cold one should be in one place, not walking around with it. It shows the animal rights people that we are slobs why give them more ammo. when we are not. Who wants a cold one spilled on them, when they dont drink because its crowded. I have friends with family that dont go because of that reason. So lets show them how much fun hunting and the outdoors can be for everybody.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/03 at 10:13 AM

I go on Friday.  Not crowded.  Move around easily.  My son doesn’t have to wait but a minute or two for the kid’s target ranges.  Parking is easy.  No complaints.  My son LOVES going and looks forward to it every year.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/03 at 10:42 PM

Went to Iowa a couple years ago.  I thought it was a much better show.  Too bad we can’t get that promoter to come to Illinois.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/04 at 12:52 PM

Target Communications, INC.
This show is all about being a corporate moneymaker.  $500,000 in gate and exhibitor money alone not including parking, vending, corporate sponsors, etc. 

Look at vendor areas of site deerinfo.com.  It is sold to them as a sales and marketing paradise for us hunters.  It is complete with demographic information that WE are kind enough to provide in the way of the surveys we fill out every year at the show.  What do we get in return:  Not even a hard copy of the preview (only available online)!!

Again, this is all for a show in which WE THE HUNTERS provide THE FEATURE ATTRACTION by toting our racks there to get scored by the hundreds.

If Target Communications doesn’t figure this out soon I will join the rest of you above and no longer attend.

A few suggestions for them other than a larger venue would be to extend hours earlier and later (7a.m. to 10 p.m.0 to spread the crowd a little.

Also, instead of whining about not enough racks on display they should give a discount or free admission to anyone entering a rack.  It would get more heads there and more people at the show longer waiting for their heads to be scored. 
I’m sure they don’t need any pointers though since they still find 20,000 plus of us to pack in their every year. 

I’d rather read stories and see pictures of Illinois deer on PSO anyday of the week than try to take my kids through that mess again.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/04 at 02:17 PM

I emailed Target Communications and voiced my opinion on the location and conditions in which we were subjected to.  No response.  Its just a money maker for them and they could care less about what we think as far as I am concerned.  Im done going.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/06 at 12:00 PM

I also left my booner at my taxidermist from 2008 archery season Mr Target Communications. Alot of others are gonna do the same unless things change.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/06 at 09:36 PM

I went to the show with my 201 4/8 17 pointer.Me and my wife stayed around from 12 till 6pm on sat. I was glad to pay the 10extra dollars and go home.It was very crouded place for everyone.It is just as easy to read and see pictures on PSO.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/07 at 05:42 PM

Well just back from the Iowa Deer Classic and it was great as always. Lots of people, lots of big deer and plenty of products to look at.

And Ilbowhunter, Tiffany was there and looking as good as always. Her and Lee were a big part of the draw to the show. There were lots of big names there throughout the booths. Another great time and can’t wait until 2010.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/07 at 09:14 PM

sgt1167,  just arrived in Des Moines tonight, Can’t wait to get to the show tommorow.  Another friend said it was a great show.  Well worth the soggy trip over here I hope,  Hope to get a pic with Tiffany if at all possible.  Well, at least for my son,  LOL.  Glad to hear you enjoyed trip.
Looks like a great building compared to our tent show in Bloomington.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/07 at 10:52 PM

I would love to see all of you at the Iowa Deer Classic next year.My wife and i can make it through the crowd with my Hall Of Fame deer(29and7/8"inside,33"outside).So come on over and lets talk deer! Best wishes and safe hunting. Gary

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/28 at 10:05 PM

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