State’s largest deer show to play in Peoria – again
Hunters who thought the Illinois Deer Classic was dead were greatly exaggerating its demise.
The show, officially titled the “Illinois Deer & Turkey Expo,” has twice made runs in Springfield, Bloomington and Peoria. It has been a January show, a February show, a March show, and August show – and now a July show.
The Peoria Civic Center hosts this year’s event July 28-30.
According to organizers, the move to Peoria Civic Center more than doubles exhibitor space from the 2016 event, allowing for 285 hunting exhibitors and outfitter booths on-site showcasing the latest in hunting and archery equipment, accessories, clothing and more.
Other highlights include:
- Local sportsmen can enter their best deer from any season for an official score and display in the Trophy Deer Contest and Display. Those who enter will receive a weekend pass to attend the expo.
- In addition to impressive deer from the Illinois area, attendees can stand in awe of the famous monster mounts of the Whitetails of North.
- Attendees can get up close and personal with some of North America’s scariest predators in the Live Game Animals and Predators experience, which can include formidable creatures like the cougar, bobcat, wolf, and both black and grizzly bears, for a fee.
- Both novice and advanced hunters can learn how to improve and innovate during seminars hosted by field experts on topics including patterning and bowhunting mature bucks, maximizing success on small properties, high-tech turkey tactics and techniques, building a close range kill plot, Illinois deer management by the numbers, and more.
- Attendees can get hands-on experience at trial ranges (youth archery, airgun, bowfishing, hoverball) and try many of the latest compound and crossbows at the bow tryout range lanes.
Show hours are 2-8 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday.