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Outdoors banquets on tap for March

With the temperature flirting with the zero-degree mark again, I’m happy to be inside preparing another column for the BCR.

It just so happens that I will give the information concerning the upcoming Illinois Valley Chapter of Whitetails Unlimited Banquet that will take place March 15 at the Cider Mill. The doors will open at 5 p.m. with the meat and fish buffet to begin at 6:30 p.m.

The local chapter of WTU is great in that they keep many of the awards and prizes right here in Bureau County.

You might want to get there early to check out all the games/raffles and enjoy the social hour. This fundraising event will include a dinner, auction and prizes with a wide array of products such as firearms, outfitter packages, hunting and outdoor-related equipment, artwork and collectibles only available at WTU events.

Check out to see what you could win.

One of the great things that the Whitetails do is the presentation of the Gorgon Shipp Memorial Award. This is presented to some boy or girl from Bureau County who will be studying an outdoor curriculum.

I talked to Mike Carrow, who is in charge of this banquet, and he informed me that there will probably be more than 15 firearms available to be won by some lucky person at the banquet. These are over and above all the other outdoor prizes that will be there at the banquet.

But wait a minute. The Whitetails takes place on Friday, March 15. Five days earlier (March 9) will be another great banquet. The Bureau Valley Ducks Unlimited will be hosting their Annual Membership Banquet and Gun Bash at the Cider Mill. They are putting the two together this year. This year’s raffles and prizes are bigger and more fun than ever before.

Ticket prices will be $100 for single and $130 for couple. A ticket includes membership, meal, $1.50 beer, and a 1 in 10 chance to win a gun in the draw down.

For questions and information, call Erik at 815-915-5605 or Ben at 815-866-4636.

Now, go out and get a coyote.

Lee Wahlgren is the BCR Outdoors Columnist. Contact him at

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