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SOUTHERN ILLINOIS CELEBRATION OF NATIONAL HUNTING AND FISHING DAYS

Hunting and Fishing Days take over John A. Logan campus BY LES WINKELER THE SOUTHERN

There are beagles and retrievers, rescue dogs and fox hounds, coon dogs and dock dogs. This year the Southern Illinois Celebration of National Hunting and Fishing Days has added still another canine feature — agility dog training. The new feature will be unveiled at the 22nd annual event. The John A. Logan College campus in Carterville will be transformed into an outdoor playground Saturday and Sunday. The event opens at 9 a.m. both days. It closes at 5 p.m. Saturday and 4 p.m. Sunday. “For years I’ve wanted to get agility dogs,” said Dwight Hoffard, one of the event’s coordinators. “It’s totally new. We’ve never done this before.” Carol Ely, of DeSoto who teaches dog training at the college, will present a couple of demonstrations each day during the event. Hoffard said he hopes the new attraction grows into a full-blown competition in the next few years. “We have just about every kind of dog you can think of,” Hoffard said.

“We are getting pretty doggy. People really enjoy the dog demonstrations.” In addition to the agility dogs, there will be enhanced dock dog competition this year, as well as the usual retriever and coon dog events. Most visitors to the Southern Illinois Celebration of National Hunting and Fishing Days also seem to enjoy a good grizzly bear sighting. To that end, Brody the Bear is returning this year. “Brody will be back this year,” Hoffard said. “I’ve had about 500 people ask me. He was supposed to be here last year, but there was a mix-up with dates. You learn how popular things are when they aren’t here.” Much of the rest of the event is similar to previous years, but that doesn’t seem to be a problem. The outdoors extravaganza attracts more than 20,000 people annually. There will be the usual areas dedicated to kids, places where kids can learn to shoot a bow and arrow or BB gun, or try to catch a fish. As always, there is no admission charge and parking is free.

THE SOUTHERN FILE PHOTO

A young girl gets excited after reeling in a catfish in the free fishing area at John A. Logan College.

In addition, to the usual fare of sunfish and fiddler-sized catfish, four large flatheads have been stocked into the John A. Logan fishing pond this year. “The first kid to catch one of the big catfish with tackle and bait provided will win a new bicycle,” Hoffard said. “We have a 50-pound flathead catfish. If you catch Whitlock, you get a $100 gift certificate to Cooksey’s Bait Shop and Crappie Pro Shop.”

The Southern Illinoisan (USPS 258-980) is published daily for $178 per year at 710 N. Illinois Ave., Carbondale, IL 62901. The Southern Illinoisan is owned by Lee Enterprises, Inc. of Davenport, Iowa.

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Page 2 Thursday, September 24, 2009 The Southern Illinoisan

Catfish will also take center stage, literally and figuratively at 10 a.m. Saturday during the annual catfish contest. Two-man teams vie for a $200 prize. “That’s always a big attraction,” Hoffard said. “Anglers can catch them anywhere and bring them to campus. It has to be a catfish species, and caught in legal waters by legal methods.” The Southern Illinois Buckmaster’s group is also returning this year to

measure mounts and sheds. There is no charge for the service. The group will be accepting mounts and sheds in the gymnasium from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Mounts will be accepted from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday. All the other usual attractions will be returning, including the buckskinner’s village, calling contests (see separate story), the Outdoor Art and Heritage Show, shotgun shooting

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(at Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge). There will be 3-D archery competition both days, conducted by the Southern Illinois Bowhunters on the north side of the campus. And, there will be the usual seminars. Hoffard said Charlie Hogg and Chris Bickers will present a crappie habitat seminar that drew a lot of attention last year. les.winkeler@thesouthern.com/ 618-351-5088

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SOUTHERN ILLINOIS CELEBRATION OF NATIONAL HUNTING AND FISHING DAYS

Dock dogs return by popular demand

BY LES WINKELER

THE SOUTHERN

Dock dogs made their initial appearance at the Southern Illinois Celebration of National Hunting and Fishing Days last year and made quite a ,ahem, splash. The Heartland Dock Dogs will make a return visit Saturday and Sunday at John A. Logan College’s annual celebration of the great outdoors. “Last year was our first time being at National Hunting and Fishing Days,” said Andrew Zieba of Heartland Dock Dogs. “I would say we were probably one of the

biggest draws. They brought out three sets of bleachers, and they were full each time with people standing around. “People are just drawn to see what these dogs can do.” The Heartland Dock Dogs will present both exhibitions and competitions throughout the weekend. Quasi, the defending national champion, will be on hand through the weekend to present exhibitions. The competition is open to local contestants. Dogs will compete in five divisions, from novice to elite. Registration is $25

on site. “They’ll need to bring a leash and their dog’s favorite toy, as long as it is not edible, it floats and it’s not alive,” Zieba said. “We’d also like to stress, no dogs in heat.” Saturday will feature big air competition at 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m. “That’s where a dog runs off a dock and is measured for distance it jumps,” Zieba said. The extreme vertical competition will be held at 4 p.m. “A dog sits at the 20foot mark on the dock and runs down the dock and jumps for height,” Zieba said. “We measure the

THE SOUTHERN FILE PHOTO

Quinn, a Dock Dog competitor owned by Mike Damron of Troy, Mo., leaps off the dock above a crowd of spectators last year at the annual National Hunting and Fishing Days. You can catch the Dock Dogs every two hours starting at 10 a.m. both days.

height of the jump. We’ve got a mechanical arm at the end of the dock that raises up an inch every round.” Speed retrieve competition will be held at noon Sunday with the finals scheduled for 2:30 p.m. “It’s a timed retrieve,”

Zieba said. “They jump off the dock and swim to the opposite end of the pool. There is a dead waterfowl trainer, basically a waterfowl decoy, on the other end. They just have to grab it. When they pull it loose, that is when the time is stopped.”

For more information on the event, go to www.dockdogs.com or call 618-924-0094. Anyone interested in joining the club can email heartland dockdogs@hotmail.com. les.winkeler@thesouthern.com/ 618-351-5088

Smiles are the order of the day at NHFD Fun. That’s the first word that comes to mind when I OFF think of the time TARGET I’ve spent LES at the WINKELER Southern Illinois Celebration of National Hunting and Fishing Days. It’s really not any more complicated than that. There have been some memorable belly laughs. Anyone who attended the benefactor’s banquets that featured Fish Fishburne, Justin Wilson

and Mike Snider know what I mean. The year Fish Fishburne spoke may be the most memorable of all. He returned to John A. Logan College the following morning for a “Breakfast With Fish” promotion. The auxiliary gym was packed and Fishburne was at his comedic best mingling with kids. After entertaining the youngsters with his antics and getting them sugared up on doughnuts, Fishburne led a mad charge to the fishing pond on the John A. Logan campus. Illinois Department of Natural Resources personnel waiting for the kids said

the wave of kids coming over the hill looked like a charge of Teddy Roosevelt and the Rough Riders. And, for sheer heartwarming entertainment, you don’t have to wander far from the fishing area. For nearly 20 years members of the SesserValier Outdoorsman’s Club have served as volunteers at the fishing area. These high school kids bait hooks, help cast and assist youngsters in releasing any fish they might catch – and they usually catch tons. There is something special about watching a teenager selflessly help a younger kid. It makes a

body feel good to witness care, compassion and patience at work. And, of course, there is nothing like seeing the wide-eyed excitement of a youngster catching his/her first fish. But, there is plenty more. I’ve marveled at the spectacle of fox hunters. I’ve watched enviously as members of the Southern Illinois Hunting Retriever Club put their marvelous animals through their paces. Then, there are the smells. If you arrive at the John A. Logan campus early in the morning, before the event gets geared up, you’ll be treated to the

smell of burning campfires. The intoxicating aroma of breakfast cooking over an open fire comes wafting across campus from the buckskinner’s encampment. Just thinking about it makes my mouth water. As the day wears on the smell of breakfast is obscured by the equally pleasing aromas of cinnamon-roasted nuts and kettle korn. Finally, there are the sounds. There are squeals of delight coming from kids learning to shoot a bow and arrow or a BB gun. Laughter seems to abound in every corner of the campus. But, the

signature sound duck and goose calls. You cannot walk anywhere on that campus for two days without hearing someone tooting on a duck or goose call. I swear if you return to John A. Logan two weeks after the event, you could still hear the echo of a goose call. The fun starts again at 9 a.m. Saturday. As always, the event is free. That makes it more fun. LES WINKELER is sports editor at The Southern Illinoisan. Contact him at les.winkeler@the southern.com or 618-351-5088.

The Southern Illinoisan Thursday, September 24, 2009 Page 3


SOUTHERN ILLINOIS CELEBRATION OF NATIONAL HUNTING AND FISHING DAYS

Vendors are a main attraction BY LES WINKELER THE SOUTHERN

The Southern Illinois Celebration of National Hunting and Fishing Days, which will be held Sept 26-27 at Carterville’s John A. Logan College, allows kids the opportunity to shoot a gun, catch a fish, watch retrievers work and hear some of the best waterfowl calling in the world. However, it is also an event for adults. Vendors remain an important part of the annual celebration. National Hunting and Fishing Days allows adults the opportunity to shop, or at least window

shop, for those much needed hunting and fishing items. The late September date also allows sportsman a chance to get a head start on Christmas shopping. “I probably have more new vendors than I’ve had in any single show in the past 10 years,” said Ron Allen, one of the event’s organizers. We have more vendors than we had last year. My waterfowl tent, I had to turn away two call vendors.” Allen said the event will be laid out in the same fashion as last year. There will be two main vendor tents and separate tents for waterfowl calls and

archery. “Dick’s Sporting Goods is back with our archery tent,” Allen said. “Once again, bring your bow in and they’ll tune it for us. We’ll have a 10-, 15- and 20-yard range for you. And, we’ve picked up a number of new deer hunting vendors. “I kept the layout the same as it was last year. One thing they’ll see is more vendors in the parking lot this year. It will be a lot fuller around the tents. I have a couple of new people who are going to bring cabins. The Army National Guard is coming out with its unit.” Although the show is in

its 22nd year, it hasn’t seemed to have lost any popularity with vendors. “I think the fact that we’ve been here 22 years, we’ve got a great reputation,” Allen said. “We haven’t raised our rates in the past 10 years. Most important, we’ve always got 25,00030,000 people here. That’s what they’re looking for.” Allen said the event should attract its 600,000th visitor this year. Although some major manufacturers will be represented, many of the vendors represent small companies. “They’re mostly mom

and pop type vendors, which I love,” Allen said. He noted the waterfowl tent will include 15 duck and goose call manufacturers, as well as several clothing vendors. In addition, lots of sportsman’s clubs will be represented. Finally, Allen said the dog tent is being expanded this year to include Chesepeake retrievers. “The most important thing is it is absolutely THE SOUTHERN FILE PHOTO free and free parking,” he Clayton Richardson, 2, of Herrin said. “Everybody loves tries out a new four-wheeler last that.” year in the John A. Logan College les.winkeler@thesouthern.com/ 618-351-5088

parking lot, where vendors set up new hunting and fishing equipment.

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CELEBRATION OF NATIONAL HUNTING AND FISHING DAYS

National Hunting and Fishing Days vendors Argo Direct Down River Outdoors Army National Guard Drop time Management Aunt Jenny’s Fudge 8 Up Sports BMW Hunting EP Hunting B & W Calls E-Z Kut Pruners Band Hawg Lanyards Feather Flodge Big Muddy Mallards Delta Waterfowl Feet Down Call Company Black & Decker Factory Store Masonic Fellowship Lodge #89 Bowfishing Association of Southern Illinois Final Flight Outfitters Buy-A-Farm Land & Auction Friends of Crab Orchard CRJ 115 Policing K9 Project Franklin County EMA Cabelink Inc. Glodo’s Original Kettle Korn Chainsaw Carvers GMR Marketing Cinnamon Roasted Almonds Gun Creek Quail Unlimited Clear Creek Game Calls H20 Imaging Crab Orchard Waterfowl Assn. Harrison’s Sport Shop Crappie Pro Shop Hayes Calls D & D Outdoors Heartland Bass Club D & M Engraving Heartland Outdoor Magazine DS Survival Equipment Heavy Hauler Outdoor Gear, Inc. Dakota Decoy Hunting Pins.com Devil’s Breath Chile Co.

IDNR Dick’s Sporting Goods IDNR-Law Enforcement Dietrich Implements IDNR-Natural Heritage Dirty Joe Duck Calls IDNR-Dist. Wildlife Biologist Dowell Fire Dept. Illinois Outdoor News Down Home Outdoor Products Illinois State Coonhunters Illinois State Rifle Association Pet Wellness Center PC Illinois Trappers Association Piney Wood Cabins J & M Golf Cart Rend Lake Marina J & S Scent Rend Lake RV & Marine Inc. JALC Foundation Rhino Linings of Southern Illinois Jackson County Ducks Unlimited Janee Richardson Jim Watson Outdoors River Oaks Quail Unlimited Joe Carey Waterfowl Calls Rut Crazed Wear John’s Elgin Market Saline Valley Friends of the NRA Just Decals Sam’s Club K & K Storage Barns SAR Dogs, Search & Rescue KK’s Chesapeakes Satellites & More Keeklee Game Calls Scott County SAR Canine Knights of Pythias Second Nature Wildlife Rehabilitation Krause Elk Farm Shawnee Detach. Marine Corp League

LESAR Shoot-Like-A-Girl Let-Em-Lite Calls Show Me Snow Geese Little Egypt Long Beards Sierra Club Illinois Chapter Marion FFA Alumni Assoc. SIUC-Department of Foresty Marion Toyota Southernmost Illinois Tourism Bureau Masterson’s H.L.-9 Waterfowl Calls Southern Illinois Hunting Retriever Club McKinney’s Western Store/Nutrena Southern Illinois Outdoors Midwest Turkey Call Supply Southern Illinois Motorsports Miller Spinal Health Ctr. Steeleville Ducks Unlimited Miles Bros. Deer Processing Stumblin’ Drake Waterfowl Mount Vernon Mariner Team Harvest, LTD Operation Bows & Heroes The Great Outdoors Company PLP Battery Supply The Silo Portables Duncan Gun Specialties Timberline Fisheries Tribal Outdoors Tri State Air Trout Unlimited-S.A. Forbes Chapter Tru Tone Calls 21 Ponds Hunting Adventures T & S Specialties Washington County Buckmasters Whitetails – Alexander County Wild Dave’s Lemon ShakeUps Williamson County Tourism Bureau Willing Partners Canine Ed.

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The Southern Illinoisan Thursday, September 24, 2009 Page 5


SOUTHERN ILLINOIS CELEBRATION OF NATIONAL HUNTING AND FISHING DAYS

Schedule of events Southern Illinois Celebration of National Hunting & Fishing Days is full of fun things Saturday 8:30 a.m. Don Gasaway Youth Goose Calling Contest – College Auditorium 9 a.m. EVENT OPENS Brody the Bear wakes up – Bear Cage West Lot Chainsaw Carving (Throughout the day.) – Tent Area Silent Auction Bidding Begins – College Gym McDonalds Kids World (Kids fishing, BB gun, archery & casting.) – Campus Wide Archery Competition Begins – So. Il Bowhunters –

North Campus Outdoor Art & Heritage Show – College Gym Dog World Opens - Dog World Tent Buckmasters Deer Mount & Shed (Check in and measuring begins.) – College Gym Buckskinners Wake Up – Buckskinners Village

Scent – West of Dog Tent Catfish Weigh-In – Rend Lake Resort Stage

Tent Dock Dog Wave – Dock Dog Tank

10:30 a.m. Charlie Hogg Understanding Crappie Behavior Year Round – Fish Tank Lot A Troy Dishner Fun 3-Man Goose Pit Calling Contest – College Auditorium

12:30 p.m. Illinois State Open Duck “Meat” Calling Contest – College Auditorium Willing Partners Assist & Therapy Dogs – College Gym

10 a.m. McDonald s Wildlife Program – Beverly Shofstall – Kids Tent Dock Dogs Wave – Dock Dog Tank Winchester 5 Stand Shooting Opens – Catch Tram to Shooting Area SAR Dog Trailing & Air –

11 a.m. Retriever Demonstrations – West of Dog Tent Camo The Clown – College Gym Agility Dog Demo – Softball Field

1 p.m. Retriever Demonstrations – West of Dog Tent Scott Ballard Reptiles of Illinois – Rend Lake Resort Stage

Noon McDonalds Wildlife Program – Beverly Shofstal – Kids

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1:30 p.m Tom Cat Hill Social Club – Bluegrass – College Gym 2 p.m. SAR Trailing & Air-Scent – West of Dog Tent Dock Dog Wave – Dock Dog Tank McDonalds Wildlife Program – Beverly Shofstal – Kids Tent 2:30 p.m. Charlie Hogg & Biologist Chris Bickers Sharing Crappie Knowledge – Fish Tank Lot A Agility Dog Demo – Softball Field 3 p.m. Retriever Demonstrations – West of Dog Tent 3:30 p.m. Camo The Clown – College Gym 4 p.m. Extreme Vertical Doc Dog – Dock Dog Tank Winchester 5 Stand Shooting Closes – Refuge Shooting Area 5 p.m. EVENT CLOSES

Sunday 9 a.m. EVENT OPENS Brody the Bear Wakes Up – Bear Cage West Lot Chainsaw Carving Throughout The Day – Tent Area Silent Auction Bidding Begins – College Gym McDonald’s Kids World (Kids fishing, BB gun, archery & casting) – Campus Wide Outdoor Art & Heritage Show – College Gym Buckmasters Deer Mount & Shed Check In & Measuring Begins – College Gym Buckskinners Wake Up – Buckskinners Village Archery Competition Begins – So. Il. Bowhunters – North Campus Dog World Opens – Dog Tent 10 a.m. McDonalds Wildlife Program – Beverly Shofstall – Kids Tent Winchester 5 Stand Shooting Opens – Catch Tram to Shooting Area Retriever Demonstrations – West of Dog Tent Doc Dogs Wave – Dock Dog Tank 10:30 a.m. Charlie Hogg Understanding Crappie Behavior Year Round – Fish Tank Lot A 11 a.m. Agility Dog Demo – Softball Field GSAR Rescue Demo – West of Dog Tent Camo The Clown – College Gym 11:30 a.m. Tim Grounds World Open Goose Calling Championship – College Auditorium

Noon McDonalds Wildlife Programs – Beverly Shofstal – Kids Tent Buckmasters Deer Mount & Shed Check-In Closes – College Gym Retriever Demos – West of Dog Tent Willing Partners Therapy & Assist Dogs - College Gym Doc Dogs Speed Retriever – Dock Dog Tank 1 p.m. Processing Your Deer/ Miles Packing House – Rend Lake Resort Stage 1:30 p.m. Camo The Clown – College Gym Charlie Hogg & Biologist Chris Bickers Sharing Crappie Knowledge – Fish Tank Lot B 2 p.m. Fox Hunting Demonstration – Go to Log Cabins Dock Dog Finals – Dock Dog Tank McDonalds Wildlife Program – Beverly Shofstall – Kids Tent SAR Dog Cadaver/CSI – West of Dog Tent Silent Auction Closes – College Tent Agility Dog Demo – Softball Field 3 p.m. Fox Hunting Demonstration – Go To Log Cabin Retriever Demos – West of Dog Tent Pick Up Silent Auction Items – College Gym Pick Up Deer Mounts & Sheds - College Gym Buckmasters Deer Show Drawing – College Gym Winchester 5-Stand Closes – Refuge Shooting Area 4 p.m. EVENT CLOSES

Page 6 Thursday, September 24, 2009 The Southern Illinoisan


SOUTHERN ILLINOIS CELEBRATION OF NATIONAL HUNTING AND FISHING DAYS

National contest: Calling all callers World Open Goose Calling Championship is Sunday

BY LES WINKELER

THE SOUTHERN

Waterfowl calling contests continue to be one of the signature attractions of the Southern Illinois Celebration of National Hunting and Fishing Days. There will be four calling contests at John A. Logan College Saturday and Sunday. The first contest, the Don Gasaway Youth Goose Calling Championship, gets underway at 9 a.m. Saturday. Registration begins at 8:30 p.m. The contest is open to youngsters 15 and younger. There is no registration fee. Prizes will be awarded to the top three callers. The second contest is the Fun Goose Pit Calling Contest. The fun begins at 11 a.m. Saturday. Registration opens at 10:30 a.m. The event is sponsored by Troy Dishner. Registration is $60 per

three-man team. Callers can compete on no more than two teams. This is a winner take all contest. “The winning team takes all the entry fees,” said Tom Horn, calling contest director. “We don’t make a dime off of it. This is the second year we’ve done it. It really was a lot of fun last year.” Things get a bit more serious as the day wears on. The Illinois State Duck Meat Calling Championship begins at 1 p.m. Registration is $40 per person. Registration begins at 12:30 p.m. “Meat calling is duck hunting,” Horn said. “Stage calling, to win the world championship you have to be able to do a 1718 note highball three times in a row. Meat calling is the guy you want to sit in the blind with. He’s going to call the bird in. “That’s no disrespect to the stage callers. They’re excellent meat callers too. This is just a different

style.” SIHFD keeps the main event, the Tim Grounds Southern Illinois World Open Goose Calling Championship , for Sunday. This is the 20th year of the World Open. Registration begins at 11 a.m. with the first competitive notes being blown at 1 p.m. Prizes are $1,250 for first place, $750 for second, $250 for third. The top five callers receive plaques, decoys from Higdon Motion Decoys and gift certificates from Drake and Nat Gear. Horn said the contest continues to draw elite callers from throughout the nation. “The judges listen for mistakes,” he said. “I don’t know how else to put it. Depending on what is going on across the country, we could end up with 10 of the best in the country. “Our judges listen for a mistake, just a scratch. That’s just the way it is.” Horn said spectator

THE SOUTHERN FILE PHOTO

Tim Grounds of Johnston City competed in the 2003 goose calling competition.

numbers have increased in the past couple years as the contest schedule was streamlined. “What we ran into is people got tired of being here all day,” he said.

“On Sunday, we decided to give everyone the morning off. We decided to have one contest in the afternoon, and that is going to be our premier contest.

“What’s happened is, you’re getting the best 20 callers, the best of the best.” les.winkeler@thesouthern.com/ 618-351-5088

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The Southern Illinoisan Thursday, September 24, 2009 Page 7


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