No Prairie Rod and Gun Club Deer Show in 2020

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For its first 15 years, the Prairie du Chien Deer Show averaged about 180 nice deer mounts per show. For most of its existence, the show was held in the Prairie du Chien Armory.


By Ted Pennekamp


Recently, the Prairie Rod and Gun Club voted to not have their annual Deer Show in 2020. The Deer Show has been the club’s only fundraiser and has had a run of 21 years.

Club member Dennis Kirschbaum said there were several factors in deciding not to have the show.

“Attendance was down, participation (deer racks) was down, there were a lack of deer or wildlife related vendors such as taxidermists, sporting goods and food plot people, and there has been a lack of interest within the club to work the event,” said Kirschbaum.

Kirschbaum said it takes commitment to work the event, but it also takes a lot of time and effort in the weeks leading up to and preparing for the event.

“We need to improve in all areas if we are going to have a show in 2021,” said Kirschbaum who noted that there also has not been big enough crowds to see presentations over the years such as then DNR Secretary George Meyer, shed antler presentations and other deer and wildlife presentations.

Kirschbaum said about 1,000 people came to the show in each of its first few years, and the show averaged 180 racks on display for the first 15 years. Those numbers have continued to dwindle in recent years, however.

The good news is that the Prairie Rod and Gun Club is on good financial ground, and will continue to do its many conservation and outdoors related projects. Just a few examples include building bat houses, bird baths, and a shelter at LaRiviere Park; building and maintaining an archery range and tower; holding casting contests; running the Mill Coulee Rifle Range and allowing the public to sight-in prior to deer season each year.

“We are open to all suggestions and ideas for a new fundraiser and for new projects,” said Kirschbaum. “We also need more volunteers and active members.”

To volunteer or to donate to the Prairie Rod and Gun Club, interested persons can contact Dennis Kirschbaum at 608-326-2718. New membership applications are also available at Stark’s Sport Shop at 119 W. Blackhawk Ave., Prairie du Chien.

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