If the outdoor world is your world, this year’s 40th Annual Dixie Deer Classic event, the largest sportsman’s show in the South, is sure to be the highlight of your week. The fun event, sponsored by the Wake County Wildlife Club, takes place this weekend, offering visitors opportunities to shop, talk, learn and trade stories with some of the best of the best hunting, fishing and outdoor recreation experts in the world.
Held on the 9th weekend of each year at the spacious NC State Fairgrounds in Raleigh, the show has always been – and still is – widely known as one of the nation’s most preeminent Trophy Whitetail Deer shows. Exhibitors’ booths, vendors and areas for competitions, seminars and food are spread throughout four buildings and an outdoor area designated for large-scale vendors, shows and demonstrations.
Highlights of the 2020 Dixie Deer Classic will include –
- Amazing dog competitions and awards for “best dog” in Big Air, Speed Retrieve, Extreme Vertical and Iron Dog contests.
- The Tarheel Open Turkey Calling Competition. Turkey calls must be original to their owners and are judged depending on purpose and design.
- A daily wildlife scavenger hunt and kids’ fishing rodeo.
- Over 300 local and national vendors of everything from boats to guns and hunting lodges to safari outfitters.
- The show’s first ever Venison Chili Cookoff.
- Celebrity presentations and events hosted by Michael Waddell, Nick Mundt and Travis “T-Bone” Turner of the Bone Collector series; and famed hunter, big game outfitter, writer and TV host, Jim Shockey.
- Inspirational and informative seminars on decoy carving, coyote trapping, birds of prey, tree and camera placement, making and using a turkey call and more.
- Raffles, giveaways and door prizes.
Kids are more than welcome at the show with their own full range of activities such as retriever demos, BB gun turkey shoots, face painting, bow-and-arrow practice at Archery Alley, and their own Turkey Calling School and Contest. Young fishermen and hunters – boys and girls alike – will enjoy hands-on exhibits where they can hold animals and learn about the outdoors from vendors such as the NC Bowhunters Association and NC Trappers Association.
Whitetail Trophy Showcase
The Dixie Deer Classic’s renowned Whitetail Trophy Showcase features a range of competitors – Male, Female, Youth Male and Youth Female – and a list of competitions specific to North Carolina: Best by Gun, Best by Muzzleloader, and Best by Crossbow, for instance. All trophies entered must comply with the rules and regulations established by the Boone & Crocket Fair Chase Statement regarding the ethical and fair pursuit and taking of free-range, big game animals, and all entries and winners are recorded in the fabled Dixie Deer Classic hunting and trophy records system.
The Wake County Wildlife Club: Conservation & Education
The Club’s substantial efforts toward wildlife conservation and education are almost entirely supported by proceeds of the Dixie Deer Classic event, the group’s only fundraiser of the year. Over 150 members and an additional group of more than 200 devoted volunteers work together to put on this remarkable sporting event where local sportsmen can meet each other and be exposed to vendors and professionals from throughout the world of hunting, fishing and other outdoor adventures. The Club’s financial support of organizations such as 4-H – the organization pays for 36 area children to go to camp for FREE each year – as well as “Hunters for the Hungry” – over 30,000 venison meals per year are donated – are complemented by the group’s own educational facility, which provides courses in firearm safety, wildlife identification, specialty hunting and more.
Tickets and Times
TICKETS for the Dixie Deer Classic are $15; Youths 13-18, Seniors, Military and Women are just $12 on Friday; and kids under the age of 12 are always free!
HOURS: Friday 11 am – 8 pm, Saturday 9 am – 7 pm and Sunday 9 am – 5 pm.