SI Hunting and Fishing Days set for Logan this weekend




Logan Media Services

CARTERVILLE – The 26th annual edition of Southern Illinois Hunting and Fishing Days is this weekend on the John A. Logan College campus in Carterville. People of all ages will have the opportunity to learn more about outdoor-related activities.

“For starters, we should be blessed with good weather,” said JALC Director of College Relations, Dr. Steve O’Keefe. “There is a record number of vendors this year (156) and even more activities planned for the entire family than ever offered before. We hope to draw record crowds.”

Bow season for deer is just around the corner and many mounts will be on display this weekend during National Hunting and Fishing Days at JALC. (Logan Media Services file photo)

Bow season for deer is just around the corner and many mounts will be on display this weekend during National Hunting and Fishing Days at JALC. (Logan Media Services file photo)

Routinely, more than 30,000 patrons turn out each year for the event.

O’Keefe said the 3D archery event should be one of the featured attractions with bow season for deer about to get under way.

“Call it an opportunity for hunters to get their bows tuned up for the new season,” he said.

Dwight Hoffard, one of the longtime event organizers at the College, said he’s amazed that each show seems to be better than the previous year.

“What an outstanding family event,” he said. “You can come and don’t have to spend a dime. There’s no charge for admission, no charge to park (donations are accepted) and plenty of free entertainment. What more could you ask for in an area that remains economically challenged.”

Hoffard said children will have the opportunity to win some nice prizes when fishing as some of the fish will be tagged. Free T-shirts, courtesy of McDonald’s, and bikes are among the prizes.

“The theme of this event is ethics, safety and the conservation of outdoor resources,” Hoffard said. “It is our hope that those who attend will leave here with only positive thoughts about outdoor-related activities.”

The activities kick off at 8 a.m. Saturday with the Don Gasaway Youth Goose Calling Contest in the school auditorium. Also scheduled at that time is registration for the Heartland Dock Jumpers at the practice dog tank.

At 9 a.m., Bob the Bear & Porter Ridge Crew will wake up the bear in the cage at the west lot. There will be a chainsaw carving demonstration in the tent area. Also starting about that time are the McDonald’s Kids’ Fishing Hole in the courtyard pond; 3D archery range and archery motion target range opening on the north campus and courtyard; Buckskinners Village; Heartland Dock Jumper demonstrations at the dog tank; and BB gun range opening in the courtyard.

At 10, the Tru-Tone Youth Duck Calling Contest is set for the auditorium. There will also be a wildlife program hosted by Beverly Shofstall in the kids’ tent and an SAR dog demonstration at the softball field, as well as helicopter rides at the baseball field.

At 10:30, Charlie Hogg will talk about tackle assortment for crappie fishing at the fish tank in Lot A. Biologist Chris Bickers will also give a lake report at the fish tank and there will be a catfish weigh-in on the outdoor stage. A youth art contest will be conducted inside the gymnasium.

At 11, Camo the Clown will perform in the gym. The Bowfishing Association of Illinois will arrange a demonstration for kids at the fishing area.

At 11:30, the Heartland dock Jumpers will put together another demonstration at the dog tank followed by a visit from the Dog Whisperer, Dan Ihrke at high noon at the fish tank stage. A second wildlife program will be offered by Shofstall at the kids’ tent.

At 12:30, the Tom Cat Hill Social Club will perform live music in the gymnasium. And at 1 p.m., Scott Ballard will speak on Reptiles of Illinois at the fish tank in Lot A. The Illinois State Open Duck “Meat” Calling Contest will also get started in the auditorium.

At 2 p.m., there will be a High School Bass Classic weigh-in at the outdoor stage, along with an SAR dog demonstration west of the dog tent. A third and final rendition of the Heartland Dock Jumpers at the dog tank is also scheduled at that time as is a final presentation by Shofstall on wildlife at the kids’ tent.

At 2:30, the Bassman Johnson Bass fishing seminar will be conducted at the fish tank. Camo the Clown will make a second appearance in the gym at 3.

There will be an Extreme Vertical Dock Jumpers show at the dog tank at 4:30 and the day comes to a close at 5.

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