Since 1990, the Arkansas Big Buck Classic has been celebrating hunting and conservation by recognizing the quality of Arkansas sportsmen and the whitetail deer in the state.
Started in a Jacksonville indoor archery range, the Big Buck Classic only continues to grow. Only a few hundred people attend that first event, but now thousands make the trip to the Arkansas State Fairgrounds to participate in this weekend-long extravaganza.
There will be a full range of activities to participate in from Friday through Sunday. Some of the highlights on Friday include the deer scoring in the Barton Coliseumfrom 1 to 8 p.m. Gator Country owner Gary Saurage will be presenting twice, at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. (He will be presenting throughout the weekend at the Big Tent.)
There will also be knife demonstrations, courtesy of Virtue Knives and a Fetch N’ Fish Dog Show.
The annual deer contest is one of the biggest draws of the Classic. It’s the chance to show off this season’s prizes! All of the deer must be Arkansas Whitetail deer harvested in the current season (except for the Best of Show and Best New Buck categories).
There’s no fee for the first two deer per hunter. However, there is a $10 charge per antler after two.
As for prizes, there’s a lot of them. There will be six divisions: modern weapon (typical and non-typical), crossbow, muzzleloader, bow, youth and ladies. Each division will award a first, second and third-place prize. There will also be prizes for largest Arkansas gross-scoring antler shed, the County Award, the Best of Show, the Arkansas’ Best New Buck and the honor roll.
For first prize in the modern weapon, muzzleloader, ladies and youth division, you could win a Remington Rifle, along with a Big Buck Classic coat and ribbon. The second place prizes for all divisions is a $100 gift card to Hunter’s Refuge, and the third-place prize is a $50 gift card to Hunter Refuge.
Gate admission for the Big Buck Classic is $15 for adults is $15 and $5 for children ages 5-12. Children under 5 get in free. Only cash is accepted at the gate. Parking is included in the ticket price.
The Big Buck Classic will be taking place from Friday, Jan. 24 through Sunday, Jan. 26. The event starts at 1 p.m. on Friday, at 9 a.m. on Saturday and at 10 a.m. on Sunday.