The annual Quad City Conservation Alliance Outdoor Show -- a fixture in our community for over 30 years -- opens Thursday afternoon at the QCCA Expo Center, 27th Street & 4th Ave., Rock Island. The stellar show runs through Sunday afternoon and includes a rock-solid group of seminar presenters; 60,000 square feet of booths and displays; and the always popular Kid's Camp.|
Quad City favorite Tommy Skarlis will be there to talk walleye fishing all four days. Brad Campbell will be atop the Texas Bass Tank all four days demonstrating bass lures and tactics. Jim Crowley of Bloomington, Ill., an accomplished tournament bass angler, will teach bass fishing for three days. But the best seminars may be on Saturday when Matt Stutzman, the armless and inspirational archer, will be on stage.
Born without arms, Stutzman was raised in Kalona, Iowa, and through sheer will and determination taught himself to do many of the things we with arms can do -- and he does most things very well. Possibly the most outstanding accomplishment for the 31-year-old is being a member of the Para United States Archery Team, where he won the archery silver medal in the 2012 London Paralympic Games. Stutzman is married and has two sons.
The 1.5 acres of exposition space will be filled with booths and displays representing, but not limited to: resorts, charter fishing, wildlife artists, dog training and breeding, outdoor organizations, hunting preserves, fishing lures, fishing rods, fishing electronics, fishing and hunting retail sales, governmental agencies and at least five marine dealers with not just the latest and greatest, but also deals on last-year's gear.
The special Kid's Camp will occupy the north hall where youngsters can try their hand at archery or BB gun shooting (under close supervision of adult instructors) a trout pond and minnow races.
From more information on the show, including hours and seminar times, go to QCCAExpoCenter.com. Adult admission is $7 at the door, discount tickets ($5) are available at area HyVee stores.
DU Banquet: The Davenport Chapter of Ducks Unlimited will hold its annual fundraising banquet this Saturday at the Starlite Ballroom, Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds, Davenport. Tickets are $40 per membership, $65 per couple and $25 per Greenwing -- youngster. For complete information, call Achiel DuPont (309) 788-0072.
NWTF Banquet: The Mississippi Valley Gobblers South Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation will hold its 20th annual fundraising banquet on March 8 at the Milan Community Center. Tickets are: $55 per membership, $75 per couple and $20 for Jakes -- youngsters. For complete information, call Mary Ann or Harold Runge (309) 787-1917.
Military pheasant hunt: The eastern Iowa and western Illinois chapters of Pheasants Forever, spearheaded by the Clinton County, Iowa, chapter, will be holding its first-ever military appreciation pheasant hunt on March 16 at Beckridge Hunting Preserve, Sabula, Iowa. The half-day morning or afternoon hunts are free to all active duty, retired or military veterans of all branches, including reserves. In addition to half-day hunts, the event includes provided breakfast and lunch, hunting licenses, ammunition and shotguns on a limited basis. Reservations need to be booked quickly.
Hunter Safety Education Course: Mark your calendar for the Illinois and Iowa DNR certified spring Hunter Safety Education Course that will be held April 11 & 13 at the Rock Island Conservation Club, Big Island, west of Milan. Application forms will be available at many local sporting good shops and will appear periodically on these pages. If you are interested in becoming a hunter safety instructor, call Berta or Jim Garcia (309) 787-1242.
Illinois deer harvest: Hunters across the Land of Lincoln harvested 180,669 deer during all of the 2012-13 seasons. This compares with the 2011-12 total of 181,451 and the all-time record number 201,209 taken during 2005-06. Archery hunters bagged 59,728; firearm hunters 99,461; muzzleloaders 3,630, youth season 3,124 and late winter 14,726.
Bob Groene is outdoors writer for The Dispatch and The Rock Island Argus, he can be reached at email@example.com
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