Hunters gather at the Boone County Fairgrounds for the Missouri Deer Classic

Saturday, March 3, 2012 | 5:14 p.m. CST; updated 9:36 p.m. CST, Saturday, March 3, 2012

COLUMBIA — Brody let loose an anxious, though lazy growl from the rear of his pen.

The fat, 1,500-pound brown grizzly then looked at his trainer, flipped his massive head back and groaned. He wanted more fried chicken.

Brody was back this year at the Missouri Deer Classic because of popular demand.

“He’s a good bear,” said Jeff Watson, Brody’s trainer who drove in from Indiana to do a show on grizzly bear safety and awareness. “I love him, but he’s spoiled.”

The two-day Missouri Deer Classic started Saturday at the Boone County Fairgrounds. Hunters from across the state came to check out new hunting gadgets, see Brody, listen to seminars and see whether they shot the biggest buck in the state.

Keith Schrimpf, from Guthrie, was pretty confident his 23-point buck would fare well in the Big Buck Contest. He killed the stag in Callaway County with a bow.

“(The buck) made it in all the books,” he said. “That made me really happy.”

The Boone and Crockett Club gave Schrimpf's buck 238 points in the contest. He needed only 150 points to qualify. But he won't know until Sunday if he won.

Schrimpf, 48, has hunted for 15 years. He just started bow hunting three years ago. His birthday is in a couple days and winning the contest would be a well-earned present, he said.

“Two-hundred-and-thirty-eight points is a giant buck,” Ron Roper, the Missouri Deer Classic chairman, said.

Roper started planning the 2012 Missouri Deer Classic the day after last year’s classic ended. The program has been around for 25 years, but Roper took it over from family three years ago.

The grizzly bear, which was a big draw last year, remains a main attraction this year, he said. But the vendors are a big reason why people come to the classic, and a constant screech of turkey calls accompanied the general hum of folks strolling through 165 vendor booths. In one booth camouflage purses were available and just down the line was a new, camouflage wheelchair for sale.

The 2012 Missouri Deer Classic comes to a close at 4 p.m. Sunday.

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Allan Sharrock March 4, 2012 | 12:45 a.m.

How about a picture of the 23point buck.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams March 4, 2012 | 9:43 a.m.

I went with grandkids in tow. Enjoyed it, but the concept of paying to gain entry to folks who want to sell me something remains a bit mind-bending. Local home and wedding extravaganzas are similar.

I'm not saying it's wrong and I understand it's a "demand" thingie. If I REALLY want to go, I'll pay.

Still, it's just....weird.

Like paying an entry fee to Macy's or Cool Stuff.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz March 4, 2012 | 3:26 p.m.

Michael, I'm the same way as you. I thought about attending the home show at Hearnes last weekend and the girlfriend was fired up to go, but I still didn't feel like pulling the trigger even after finding a coupone that would reduce the price to $5 for the weekend. If you want to sell me something, make it easy for me to come see your wares.

(Report Comment)
John McLaughlin March 5, 2012 | 10:53 a.m.

Allan, this is John McLaughlin, the reporter who covered this event. I agree with you on the picture.

It is my fault we didn't get a shot of the mentioned buck. I'll see about getting a photo from Schrimpf for everyone to see, as this buck was perhaps the largest I have seen in person. Thanks for reading.

(Report Comment)

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