By ROSS FOGLE
The Heart of Illinois Quality Deer Management Association (QDMA) held its first Youth Antler Hunt on Sunday April 12th at Oak Ridge Sportsmen’s Club in Mackinaw Illinois. Fifty-six kids, 17 and younger, attended the event, with parents and children traveling as far away as Iowa. Each child received a grunt call, deer poster set, Rack Pack membership, and an engraved QDMA deer antler. A Pellet gun range, and world class shed antler display from Goliath Outdoors were also a part of the event.
The HOI QDMA board members hid 188 antlers for the kids to find that day. All deer antlers were shed antlers that were donated by area hunters, and organizations. Some local supporters donated 20-40 antlers per person! The McLean County Sportsmen’s Association, Sugar Hill Archery Club, Oak Ridge Sportsmen’s Club and Goliath Outdoors were among the largest contributors for the event.
Not all antlers were found that day, in fact around 12 of them remain hidden and out of sight. But one antler in particular was found. The HOI QDMA’s “Shed Antler of the Year”. This was by far the largest antler hidden, the young man picture above received a free ticket to the HOI QDMA Banquet at Crestwicke Country Club, Bloomington IL on August 7th 2015. The antler will be auctioned as a fundraising item for next year’s event, however the young man will get to keep his antler at the end of the night.