The first day of the Illinois Deer & Turkey Classic did not produce many shockers.
The big bucks expected arrived.
A full-body mount of Ginormica, finished late Thursday night, grabbed plenty of attention. The unique pose, which matches a trail-cam picture of the huge non-typical, caught the eye of most who visited the show Friday at Peoria’s Civic Center. Travis Cockburn’s 247 2/8-inch Marion County buck is expected to take top honors for non-typicals.
So did Jason Sanders’ world record 9-point buck out of Logan County (183 1/8 net).
So did Kraig Sullivan’s 12-point typical out of Logan County (192 net).
And so did Ray Meldrum’s monster from Henderson County (243 5/8 net).
One unexpected deer was a 222-inch shotgun kill out of Livingston County. We’ll have more about that soon.
Beyond that, there were few huge surprises, though there’s still two days left for a big deer to emerge. The show continues today from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from 9 to 4. Overall the count of deer heads is on pace to match last year, according to show organizer Glenn Helgeland.
If you come to the show, stop by booth 119 and say hello to the Heartland Outdoors gang! We’ve got the new April issue to hand out and it’s packed with good stories.