Illinois hunting and fishing

Tom Missen of Dunlap scores a mounted buck on Saturday afternoon at the Elmwood AllOutdoors Show at Elmwood High School. The show, which focuses on hunting, fishing and the great outdoors, will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.

The hunting’s great in Elmwood

March 07, 2010 at 07:23 PM

ELMWOOD — With winter chills fading slowly, families and friends stepped out Saturday to buy fishing and hunting equipment at the inaugural Elmwood AllOutdoors Show.

About 100 sales booths were set up inside Elmwood High School for the two-day show that began Saturday. While some people shopped for their outdoors expeditions, others participated in contests, seminars and a raffle.

A fishing pond and an archery range were available for youngsters. A major attraction was the big-buck contest, in which hunters nominated deer they had harvested.

“We have had an overwhelming response since we started this,” said Janice Nash, one of the show’s organizers.

After helping operate an outdoors show in Tinley Park, Nash and a few others got together in February 2008 to discuss the prospects of doing the same in Elmwood. The plan is for this to be a yearly event, Nash said.

Proceeds benefited Elmwood High School athletic programs and academic scholarships. Nash expected between 2,500 and 5,000 people to attend, and proceeds are expected to reach $25,000.

“It is going awesome,” said Vianey Payan, 16, an Elmwood freshman who was among the volunteers working at the event.

Payan and another volunteer, Nicole Coffey, 14, spent Saturday making announcements and helping vendors with anything they needed.

“I was the first to volunteer,” Coffey said.

According to Nash, more than 100 Elmwood students joined Coffey and Payan among the volunteers.

One of the biggest crowds at the show was gathered around the fishing gear.

“I am ready for spring fishing,” said Jean Fahnestock, 61, of Pekin, who attended with her husband, Roger Fahnestock.

Aside from what was offered for sale at the booths, Jean Fahnestock also was pleased about the show’s potential benefits for the Elmwood community.

“It is a good idea to earn some money for the school,” she said.

Vendors paid $50 to set up a booth for the weekend.

Matt Birmingham of Cisco, located northeast of Decatur, sells custom-made baits and lures. The owner of Build Your Own Baits apparently had a very busy Saturday morning.

“Great turnout,” he said.