Illinois Contests
Curlique Stickers
Outdoor Life Trophy Deer Contest & Display
The only thing better than looking at trophy animals is when they're your own. Bring your best deer to be officially scored and then displayed for everyone to see at the Outdoor Life Trophy Deer Contest. All bucks taken in Illinois, by firearms, bow-and-arrow, muzzleloader or crossbow. Bucks can have been taken any year. Enter from noon Friday to 10:00 am Sunday.
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Deer and Turkey Expos - Turkey Calling Contests
State Turkey Calling & Owl Hooting Contest
The contest, held Saturday, February 22, beginning at 2:30 pm, is a NWTF-sanctioned event, and you must be a NWTF member to participate.  State, Hunter, Junior and Owl Hooting divisions.  Conducted by the Mackinaw Valley Gobblers.  Details on the Contest Links page.
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Deer and Turkey Expos
Two Photo Contests
Trail Camera Photos
[Click here to see 2013 Trail Camera Photo Contest Winners]
Wild animals do some amazing things. These photos prove it. Five contest divisions: Deer-Bucks, Deer-Other, Predators, Turkeys, Miscellaneous. Enter from noon Friday to 11:00 am Sunday.
Outdoor Photos
[Click here to see 2013 Outdoor Photo Contest Winners]
Five contest divisions:  Wildlife (North American only), Flora, Scenic, People in the Outdoors, Miscellaneous/Novelty.  You’ll see creative, colorful, dramatic photos.   Will yours be part of this?  Enter from noon Friday to 11:00 am Sunday.
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2013 Illinois Expo - Best of Show winners in the Archery Category
2014 Illinois Trophy Deer Contest Winners
To view all the winners from 2014 Illinois Trophy Deer Contest Click Here.
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Deer and Turkey Expos
Best of Show 2012
Tales of the Hunt

Skill and luck play big parts in the tagging of a trophy whitetail buck. But first there has to be such a buck where you hunt. Then you have to be in the right place at the right time; it helps immensely if you have a good idea of where that time and that place might be.

Reading through these Best-of-Show articles, you can pick up some pointers that might help you tag that big'un the next time you're afield with an open tag.  Things like the use of trail cameras to pinpoint buck locations and movement times, high treestand height, setting up near funnels or bottlenecks or ravines/draws, all of which are travel corridors, and that it often is quite nice to be back off the edge, not right on the edge, of a soybean or cornfield. And that a lot of great bucks get tagged by a hunter standing or sitting on the ground; treestands are great, but they aren’t the answer every time.

Good hunting. Be safe. Shoot straight.

And congratulations, once again, to these 2012 Best of Show deer and to the hunters who tagged them.

All articles by Richard P. Smith

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