Deer and Turkey Expo brings in thousands - Peoria-area News, Weather, Sports

Deer and Turkey Expo brings in thousands

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PEORIA, Ill (HOI) -- -

You may have seen the traffic downtown, and parking lots packed. 

That's because of the Deer and Turkey festival, back in Peoria for it's final day 

Crowds walked up and down the aisles at the Deer and Turkey Expo at the Civic Center trying to get their hands on the latest hunting gear, from the nearly 300 vendors on display. 

From turkey calls, to blinds, and wildlife artwork, there was a lot to get your hands on, including a product from a man right here in Central Illinois.

"It's a string operated turkey decoy and I'm from the area and I wanted to get my product out here, and get myself some exposure," said Wade Gotter with Alive Action Decoys.

But the expo got attention from those outside our Midwest state including a man from Kentucky who began his business when he suffered from knee problems.

"I could crutch through the woods to go hunting. But once I got to where I was hunting I had another dilemma, what do I do with the bow when I'm sitting there all day," said Jim with Third Hand Archery.

Organizers are expecting attendance totals to reach over ten-thousand

Which is why they decided to move it to Peoria after five-years in Bloomington. 

"There is so much exhibit space. It gave us a lot of room to be able to do things like have a very comfortable trophy deer contest and also bring in the 3D archery shoot, where people bring in their own bows for me to compete," said Jake Steingraeber, an organizer for the event. 

Not only do thousands pack the Civic Center to learn about the new technology on the market, but also take lessons from some professionals in the seminars."

"It's a lot of fun. You get to met some of the great hunters out here, like Stan Potts, a lot of good information from that man," said James Curtis who has been to the event as a consumer as well as a vendor.

They also show cased wooden furniture and cabins, and had land plots for sale. 

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