by Scott Bestul
Most of the post-season deer shows in the Midwest have wrapped up by now, and from reports I’m getting, overall entries into the big buck contests were down significantly. According to a scorer friend at the Illinois Deer Classic, hunters brought in 307 bucks to the Prairie State show, a drop of 192 deer from last year. Over the last seven years, the Illinois Classic has averaged 517 entries in the big buck contests, and in two years (2005 and 2008) measurers scored over 600 bucks in each show.
Illinois isn’t alone, however. Deer shows in Ohio and Missouri also saw a drop in big buck entries this year, with the Buckeye numbers down some 30% and Show Me entries dropping some 40%.