Illinois Deer & Turkey Classic recap
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:
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
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.
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).
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).