The Way Out Here

Mid-winter merriment

By HUNTER HILL
Posted 2/5/20

Every year, the Calkins Baptist Church in Wayne County hosts an annual Wild Game Dinner. At the event, dozens of folks bring savory samplings of their recent quarry from the fall hunting season. Over …

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The Way Out Here

Mid-winter merriment

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Every year, the Calkins Baptist Church in Wayne County hosts an annual Wild Game Dinner. At the event, dozens of folks bring savory samplings of their recent quarry from the fall hunting season. Over the years, this sampling has grown into a two-table smorgasbord of buffet-style delicacies. Folks bring plenty of venison, cooked and prepared in a number of ways, and some who share harvests from their garden. One of the unofficial pastimes of the event is seeking out the most outlandish dish on the table. There has been salmon, rabbit and pheasant, but some people have brought in dishes like bobcat, alligator and beaver meat. 

I have not partaken in those latter dishes, but I do have a close friend who takes joy in consuming the more questionable, yet still edible, creatures of the wood. At his expense, I suppose, I can say that beaver, while indeed edible, is not very enjoyable.

My wife and I make every effort to not miss this yearly event; even with the baby, this year was no exception. As the dinner began, my boy made his own dent in the buffet, receiving two bites to every one of his mothers’. By the time it was all said and done, he had slurped down more green beans and mashed potatoes, sprinkled with venison bits, than my wife had eaten of anything else. 

As all those in attendance sat rubbing their stomachs, unable to run away, the Pennsylvania Game Commission gave a brief lecture on the current bobcat program happening throughout the state. They presented information on the species, along with updates on newly available hunting options for them. 

In addition to the lecture, the game wardens had a table of tanned furs and mounted animals, including some antlers and other animal bones, all in the effort to better educate attendees. 

As the dessert table was all but obliterated, Pastor Dan Baker gave a message from Psalms about deer and the human soul. The evening was topped off with a raffle of a multitude of donated outdoors items.

This unique event has been going on for more than 20 years. For anyone interested in attending in the future, they can contact Calkins Baptist Church by going to their website at www.calkinsbaptistchurch.com.

The way out here is a celebration of how we live, sometimes alone, but on occasion with friends and family: That’s the basis for the annual Wild Game Dinner. Sharing food, our success in the woods, information about this way of life and, ultimately, a fellowship.

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