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Illinois hunting and fishing

Join the club at the Deer and Turkey Classic

March 26, 2011 at 08:21 PM

The State Journal-Register

Chris Robertson is in the club – the Boone & Crockett Club.

Robertson of Avon was one of the lucky deer hunters invited to fill out the paperwork Saturday morning for his trophy buck at the Illinois Deer and Turkey Classic held at the Peoria Civic Center.

The Boone & Crockett and Pope & Young clubs maintain big game records.

Robertson’s trophy netted 197 5/8 inches.

“It’s pretty nice to come here and see Boone & Crockett on it,” he said, looking up at his mount on display among dozens of others.

People streamed into the show Saturday morning filling aisles between vendors exhibiting everything from hunting blinds shaped like round hay bales to hunting trips to far-off destinations.

The show is back in Peoria for the first time in more than a decade after its decade-long run at the Interstate Center in Bloomington came to an end.

The show continues today from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Tickets are $12. Tickets for youth ages six to 11 cost $4. Kids under five-years-old are free.

As is the custom, deer mounts on display were a big draw.

Traffic rarely let up as people streamed past the trophy deer mounts in two directions.

Up to 500 mounts were expected for the weekend, and deer mounts continued to be registered and brought in for scoring throughout the morning.

Mike Kistler, Brownstown, is one of the deer scorers on hand at the Classic.

He represents the Pope & Young Club.

“Basically what we are looking for is symmetry and mass in a whitetail,” he said. “Both Pope & Young and Boone & Crockett systems are set up to reward the symmetry – the mirror images side by side, as well as circumference, tine length and other factors.”

He said about 40 scorers were available to help out this weekend.

Austin Fosdyck of Plymouth was another deer hunter invited to enter his mount in the record books.

His deer, an 11-point typical, was killed with a bow in Jan. 2009.

He had seen the deer on trail cameras and after he shot it, estimated it might score 180 inches.

Officials scored it at 174.

Not every hunter shoots a deer big enough to qualify for the record books, so Robertson is enjoying every minute of it.

“People come by and say, ‘nice deer,’ and ‘congratulations,’” he said.

“It’s the first deer I’ve ever had in Boone & Crockett and probably the biggest deer I’ll ever shoot.”

Special emphasis at Sunday’s show has been placed on how to choose a puppy that will become a valued hunting companion.

On Puppies & Kids Sunday, puppies will be for sale, of course.

For more information, visit the show’s Website at:

Chris Young can be reached at (217) 788-1528.

Illinois hunting and fishing

Illinois hunting and fishing

Illinois hunting and fishing

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