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Illinois hunting and fishing

Mike Lamb of Noble scores a buck shot by Jared Eichelberger in Champaign County.

One last look at the Classic

March 08, 2009 at 04:40 AM

Classic winners

184-2/8 John Graber, Monee, Williamson 2007
Archery: 176-6/8 Clark Piper, Paris, Edgar, 2008
Black Powder: 172-4/8 Michael Wozniak, Brimfield, Peoria, 2008
222-5/8 Gregory Wilson, Litchfield, Montgomery, 2007
Archery: 219-2/8 Scott Fiala, Enfield, White, 2008
Black Powder:222-1/8 Jeremy Cauble, Ramsay Fayette 2009

ARCHERY (2008 season)
8-point Typical

154-7/8 Brandon Francis, Newton, Jasper
154-0/8 Jeff Bundren, Creal Springs, Williamson
152-4/8 Michael Howie, Potomac, Vermillion
9-point Typical
150-3/8 Gary Edenburn, Potomac, Vermillion
147-6/8 Aaron Dahnke, Washington, Washington
146-0/8 Donald Davis, Oblong, Crawford
10-point typical
160-0/8 Bruce Moore, Pekin, Woodford
159-4/8 David Hiland, Augusta, Schuyler
158-3/8 Ryan Oeck, Marissa, Randolph
11-point typical
176-6/8 Clark Piper, Paris, Edgar
159-4/8 Jeremiah Brown, Olney, Richland
155-6/8 Raymond Holohan, Ashkum, Iroquois
12-point Typical
159-4/8 Darrin Warren, Sheldon, Iroquois
158-1/8 Larry Gain, Ashland, Morgan
157-0/8 Jerry Banaszak, Minooka, LaSalle
13+ points Typical
170-3/8 Gehl Higgs, Altamont, Effingham
167-5/8 Brian Habling, Teutopolis, Jasper
164-3/8 Michael Goetten, Manhattan, Will
219-3/8 Scott Fiala, Enfield White
214-6/8 Joel Carpenter, Coal City Grundy
214-4/8 Brock Tarr, Newton Jasper

FIREARMS (2008 season)
8-point Typical

159-1/8 Danny Persinger Jr., Flora, Clay
155-2/8 Jimmy Beitz, Colfax, McLean
151-3/8 David Reed, Bluffs, Scott
9-point Typical
145-3/8 Joseph Newman, Peoria, Peoria
10-point Typical
168-3/8 Bradley Koke, Havana, Mason
166-4/8 Stacey Bochappan, Bluford, Franklin
164-7/8 David West, Waynesboro, DeWitt
11-pt Typical
158-5/8 Greg Bain, Joliet, Marshall
157-2/8 Bill Frietsch, Dillon, Brown
12-point Typical
182-3/8 Kenneth Horner, Watseka, Iroquois
13+ points Typical
167-6/8 Ray Holohan, Ashkum, Iroquois
165-2/8 Corey Schalber, Bartonville, Stark
218-3/8 Ransom Brooks, Olney, Richland
215-2/8 Mike Belshaw, Carthage, Hancock
207-6/8 Jacob Landon, Abingdon, Knox

8-point Typical

138-6/8 Matthew Weide, Varna, Marshall, 2008
135-6/8 Matthew Klopp, Delavan, Logan, 2004
135-5/8 Harry Burks, Bloomington, Dewitt, 1996
9-point Typical
162-3/8 Larry Bollinger, Mackinaw, Marshall, 2007
151-6/8 Michael Martin Jr., Ottawa, LaSalle, 2007
142-2/8 Todd Williams, Decatur, Macon, 2007
10-point Typical
161-0/8 Mike Kuhn, Casey, Clark, 2003
156-6/8 Keith Studnick, Normal, Livingston, 2007
144-6/8 Shawn Meyer, Eureka, Woodford, 2007
11-point Typical
158-5/8 Landon Littleton, Oblong, Crawford, 2008
153-3/8 Steven Clark, Gilman, Iroquois, 2005
153-2/8 Eric Scariot, Ottawa, LaSalle, 2007
12-point Typical
173-0/8 James Mast, Arthur, Douglas, 2007
171-6/8 Nathan Steelman, Franklin, Morgan, 2007
13+ points Typical
162-5/8 Nicholas Miller Jr., Simpson, Pope, 2004
214-2/8 Scott Lemmon, Tamaroa, Perry, 2007
209-7/8 Leslie Gordon, Pinckneyville, Perry, 2006
201-1/8 Earl Immormino, Saunemin, Grundy, 2005
8-point Typical
172-1/8 Daniel Coons, Orion, Mercer, 1994
151-3/8 Harry Burks, Bloomington, Woodford, 2007
149-7/8 Michael Rendak, Chicago, Ogle, 1989
9-point Typical
159-0/8 Dan Osborne, Kewanee, Henry, 2007
147-2/8 Jonathan Siliskie, Bloomington, McLean, 2007
140-3/8 Frank Field, Decatur, Montgomery, 2006
10-point Typical
184-2/8 John Graber, Monee, Williamson, 2007
179-2/8 Shawn Bell, Sullivan, Moultrie, 1988
175-4/8 Jarrod Secrist, Gilson, Knox, 2007
11-point Typical
170-4/8 David Fry, Jerseyville, Jersey, 2002
167-3/8 Scott Hoene, Sigel, Cumberland, 2007
163-6/8 Dean Young, Ridge Farm, Edgar 2004
12-point Typical
179-5/8 Josh Brunaugh, Jerseyville, Calhoun, 2007
157-4/8 Richard Saindon, Crest Hill, Will, 2007
149-7/8 William Gaither, Galesburg, McLean, 2007
13+ points Typical
171-3/8 Vesper Martin, Peoria, Peoria, 2007
159-4/8 Roger Prewett, Hopedale, Tazewell, 2000
222-5/8 Gregory Wilson, Litchfield, Montgomery, 2007
207-5/8 Mark Nordstrom, Bloomington, Henry, 2007
187-3/8 Eric Hand, Lewistown, Fulton, 2007

8-point Typical

154-6/8 Willis Heaton, Bradford, Stark, 2008
142-6/8 Wayne Lingerfelter, Decatur, Macon, 2008
9-point Typical
152-7/8 Nicholas Safranck, Mattoon, Lee, 2006
10-point Typical
155-0/8 Kirk Vollmer, Mapleton, Knox, 2008
154-6/8 Jeffrey Mitchell, Johnsonville, Wayne, 2001
11-point Typical
172-2/8 Paul Kelley, Mulberry Grove, Bond, 2008
156-1/8 Aric Carney, Lawrenceville, Piatt, 2008
13+ points Typical
172-4/8 Michael Wozniak, Brimfield, Peoria, 2008
165-0/8 Margaret Snowden, Putnam, Putnam, 2007
222-1/8 Jeremy Cauble, Ramsey Fayette 2008
216-1/8 Rodney Williams, Newton Jasper 2008

CROSSBOW (All Years)
8-point Typical

115-3/8 Richard Casteel, Rantoul, Green, 2007
9-point Typical
141-5/8 Martin Bolter, Fairbury, LaSalle, 2006
10-point Typical
150-1/8 Mark Etchason, Clinton, Dewitt, 2008
12-point Typical
137-4/8 Jack Brown, Virginia, Cass, 2007
13+ points Typical
145-6/8 Richard Bielik, Palos Park, Will, 2008
179-5/8 David Conway, Bath, Mason, 1998

Mark Beck was still shaking his head last weekend.

Twice this fall the Petersburg bowhunter had the biggest buck at the Illinois Deer & Turkey Classic standing 60 yards away. Once the massive non-typical buck was just 20 yards away in a field of standing corn.

But Beck never got a shot at the buck found by quail hunters on property owned by John Grosboll. So instead of being the happy hunter who won a best of show award with the 254 1/8-incher (263 4/8 gross), Beck joined the crowd who saw the Menard County Monster on display in a booth peddling deer urine.

Had the Grosboll buck been hanging instead in the trophy display, it would have quieted some folks fretting about the lack of “monster bucks.” So too would the 250-incher that a hunter opted not to bring to the show in an effort to avoid publicity.

The top-scoring buck from last season was Jeremy Cauble’s 222 1/8-inch Fayette County bruiser—a deer that could set records in some states. And at any other state’s deer show (except Iowa) the collection of racks on display would have been cause for amazement. For that matter so would the seven Journal Star area entries that made the Boone and Crockett Club record book.

Typical Booners from the JS area last year included: bowhunter Travis Admire’s 10-point Knox County buck that scored 172 4/8 inches, Brimfield muzzleloader hunter Michael Wozniak’s 14-point Peoria County 172 4/8 incher and Peoria gun hunter Earl Martin’s 15-point Jubilee College State Park buck that went 171 3/8. The other Booner typical was Gilson gun hunter Jarrod Secrist’s 10-point Knox County buck from 2007 that scored 175 4/8.

Non-typical area entries were Carthage gun hunter Mike Belshaw’s 15-point Carthage County buck that scored 215 2/8, Abingdon gun hunter Jacob Landon’s 16-point Knox County 207 6/8 incher and Kewanee gun hunter Mark Nordstrom’s 16-point Henry County buck that scored 207 5/8.

Even with all those big bucks, trophy entries were down overall. Hunters brought 502 deer to the show compared to 605 last year, 496 in 2007 and 588 in 2006. By my count, 34 racks qualified for the Boone and Crockett record books—the lowest percentage of Booners in five years.

The downturn is not unexpected given that buck harvest was down across Illinois during gun season. But is there more to it than that? Probably.

Notably absent from the trophy ranks were entries from Pike or Adams counties, two of Illinois’ most-publicized hunting hotspots. No question some big bucks from those heavily outfitted counties leave the state in the hands of non-residents who do not attend the Classic.

But outfitters packing clients into the woods has to take a heavy toll on 2- and 3-year-old bucks that do not get a chance to reach monster status. And outfitting is definitely impacting other hunters—like the fellow who shot that 250-incher—who leave their bucks home for fear of attracting unwanted attention.

“Some of our categories were down 20 points and the Best of Show entries were down 10 points for typicals and close to 20 for non-typicals,” noted show organizer Glenn Helgeland, who then posed a question others have asked. “What does that mean?”

Time will tell. The optimist in me says next year’s show will see a boost in trophy bucks thanks to all the heavy-antlered deer that survived this weird hunting season.

The pessimist in me reads the following quote and thinks there’s some truth to this trophy hunter’s words: “We could get the (trophy) deer population back in order by slashing the number of non-resident permits at least in half. But it will never happen. Soon we will have a (trophy) deer population just like the one these non-residents flee to get here.”

Much clearer is the future of the Classic, which drew an estimated 22,050 and enjoyed a 6.7 percent increase in ticket sales despite much-ballyhooed economic woes. That’s bad news for those pining to return to Peoria.

“We’re not going back to Peoria,” Helgeland said. “The cost is out of line and I can’t afford it.”

For those who complained about huge crowds Saturday morning, Helgeland had a suggestion: Show up at a different time. Crowds are much smaller on Friday and in the evenings.

“On Saturday everybody was talking about the incredible crowding. Attendance was only up about 450 from last year. Everybody just came at one. The crowding is only for four hours, from 10:30 to 2:30,” Helgeland said. “We have tried everything in the world to get people to come at other times, but they won’t. If somebody wants to talk to manufacturers and look at new products, Friday is absolutely the time to go.”

Helgeland said 55-60 percent of the attendance at the Classic is on Saturdays. But only 18 percent is on Fridays.

Here’s hoping next year’s show has aisles that are more navigable and a trophy display that once again includes a few corn-fed Illinois monsters.

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

The trend looks like there are alot of deer left at home and not being brought to the classic.  That would be my opinion.  I know of three booners that weren’t brought and will never see the walls of the deer classic.  We decided to drop going to Bloomington and start going to Iowa.  We are here today and can’t wait to see the monster show they have.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/08 at 09:25 AM

As for Mr Helgeland,  take a flying hike buddy.  I will spend my money elsewhere.  Can’t afford it, ya right.  It all comes back to filling his pockets as much as he can and I am sorry, there aren’t too many heads there on Friday to make it worth while going.  Ill spend the extra cash to drive to Des Moines where they have a classy classic.  I advise all to do so.  Its worth the drive.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/08 at 09:31 AM

I have to wonder how many trophies are going under the radar. Look what’s happened to Pike & Adams counties.  Local hunters are an endangered species.  Bring your trophy to the deer classic or list it with DNR, and an outfitter or doctor has leased your hunting spots.
As for the buck harvest being down: how many recently unemployed hunters took the first deer rather than wait for a “nice buck?”

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/08 at 10:05 AM

We returned from the Iowa Deer Classic late last night and I couldn’t get some of the monsters out of my head.  The amount of booners was unbeleivable. The new number 1 Iowa Archery nontypical at 275 inches.  The top 5 archery non-typ went from 275-204. That was just the archery.  Top Womens buck was a 266 inch non typical, it went on and on.  Why are our Booner numbers down? Could it be that every Non-resident that wants a tag can get one?  That would be my best guess. Iowa has a draw for their tags and you may wait a few years to draw one. Unlike our build it and they will come mentality.  My buddy has a farm in Brown county surrounded by outfitters, a 2 1/2 year old is as tough to find as a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow.  What Mr Helgeland doesn’t realize is that alot of us guys don’t want recognition for our accomplishments so we leave our deer at home.  I am sure with all his money he has never lost his hunting spot due to outfitting or leasing.  So why bring the attention.  You want to see more booners in Illinois, then maybe we sould look more into Iowa’s management practices.  I love to see big deer no matter where they are shot but I won’t go back to another show in Bloomington.  “The cost is out of Line” Mr Helgeland says of Peoria, well your prices are out of line, vendor and entry into show.  Let me make one suggestion, If you want to see Big deer and like to be able to talk to vendors without being run over then save your money and travel to Iowa. The seminars are great and there is plenty of room for all.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/09 at 01:21 PM

Jeff, Its for profit only is what I suspect by his comments.  At least in Iowa they have an auction filled with a bunch of great stuff donated by the Drury Bros, Whitetail Properties, etc, etc and the profits go to Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation.  They use the money to sponsor a weekend filled with deer hunting and related activities for the kids. As far as I am concerned this guys only care is profit. The location sucks…..... The show sucks, soon it will be all about lawn mowers and stickers.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/09 at 05:00 PM

I am a little confused “Illbowhunter”, in your four rants concerning the Classic, you state that the reason for fewer “Booners” at this year’s show was the State of Illinois allowing “any Non-resident who wants a tag to have one”. Yet in your following sentence you say that what Mr. Hegeland doesn’t understand is “that a lot of hunters don’t want recognition for their accomplishments so they leave their deer at home.” Which one is correct?
  I for one will be keeping a eye on the Iowa hunting forums, waiting for them to start complaining about the overcrowding at the “Iowa Deer Classic” because of the Non-Residents “saving their money and traveling to Iowa to see big deer”.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/09 at 06:48 PM

Non-res.hunter - The State of Iowa has and will continue to grow outstanding whitetails because of their non-resident restrictions. As an Illinois resident I to would like to see our state go back to some strict regulations regarding out of state hunters. With the “if they will pay for it, we will provide it” theory on out of state resident tags, we have lost total focus of managing the deer herd. The state’s main purpose of deer managemnt today is the mighty dollar.

I agree with Ilbowhunter on the Illinois deer show and the problems that have come with moving to Bloomington. I have not been there in several years because of these problems and switched to Iowa. I have never hunted whitetails in Iowa but what a world of difference in shows. I would have to agree that the all mighty buck is a big thing behind the Illinois show and without making some much needed changes it will suffer in future years.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/09 at 08:32 PM

Your right Mr non-resident hunter, let me clear this up for you. Alot of people from Illinois don’t show their booners off because they don’t want their ground leased up by some outfitter who’s only concern is to make a buck from so joe-smo. So less deer will make it to the classic. In regards to my other statement,  Illinois pretty much allows every non-resident come to our state and hunt year after year an it has ruined alot of our counties and we are the ones that have to clean up the mess.  Iowa doesn’t have this problem because they know how to manage a deer herd properly.  I was very outspoken and WILL always be about putting a cap on NR deer tags and with our new DNR director and Governor its something I hope to see. I would love to see a draw and limited tags.  I have no intentions of ever hunting Iowa so I doubt that they mind me spending my money and time at their classic.  You obviously missed alot of people other than my comments on our deer classic.  Come and see it for yourself, if you like being herded like cattle its a great place for ya.  In the meantime, I will take my chances of getting run out of Iowa and they are more than welcome to come to ours.  I will greet them at the state line with open arms.  By the way, I can complain all I want about our classic, its called freedom of speech.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/09 at 08:35 PM

well said smallieslayer!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/09 at 08:51 PM

Kudos “Illbowhunter” on your comments about the non-resident tags and also the outfitters that are raping our states deer hunting. As far the deer classics I could care less, never been to one and I don’t plan to. As far as I’m concerned if a deer isn’t breathing and standing in its tracks it’s no longer worth pursuing. Ever since the state lifted the bucks only policy I have taken only does when the opportunity arises, not to say that I haven’t shot any bucks, I have but only as a last resort to putting meat in the freezer. More than a few times I’ve stood in my stand and watched as a Monster Buck walked by and gone out of sight without ever reaching for my bow. No matter what you do, you can’t EAT THE ANTLERS!!

To all of the ego driven hunters that take their mounts to the shows, or brag about the big one that they got that was published in the news paper just remember that one day you’ll wish you had been more like the old mushroom farmer, ya keep em in the dark (people) and feed em full of B.S.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/10 at 04:27 PM

i agree sniper,its too bad antlers are worth a dime.not that long ago they all got nailed on the barn to the organizer of the classic,you say come at a different time…great advice,you all know you’re over fire code and you’ll never see my money in bloomington again.theres only one thing that’ll get rid of the vermin outfitters…bluetongue

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/11 at 11:32 AM

Ya antlers worth money… You know it’s getting bad when you have to carry a pistol on you on your own frickin’ property. i’d hate to be an outfitter in knox county, and i’ll leave it at that. Found three dead bucks no antlers, and i found two sheds so far… how does that work? 2 1/2 or 3 1/2 yr olds too. Very true about the fire code thing. Bass how dare you wish blue tongue on our deer herd. outfitting problems or not, you are the type of hunter that disappoints me. blue tongue is totally another problem and two wrongs don’t make a right. I know this and i’m probably half your age. I think hearin a couple shots after them seeing you is alot more effective. don’t shoot at them obviously. I can’t even ride an atv on my lease, but everyone and their brother does to trespass. It’s all BS and if someone dares mess with anothers property they deserve to have their pants soiled and tires slashed.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/12 at 08:17 PM

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