Sportsmen, hunters, and adventurous eaters alike gathered in Wauseon this past weekend as the Fulton County Fairgrounds played host to the Big Game Hunt Dinner.
This is the first year that the dinner has been held, giving guests the opportunity to gather together and sample some unique foods. The menu for the night contained such specialty eats as turtle soup, elk, buffalo, wild boar, moose, and even black bear. On the night of the Big Game Hunt Dinner, dinner-goers could stack their plates to the brim with these delicacies, some of which cannot be bought and can only be enjoyed if hunted.
However, the food was not the only thing that the guests enjoyed. According to Randy Smith, coordinator of the Big Game Hunt Dinner, the fellowship that the hunters enjoy is one of the best parts of the dinner. “One of the greatest things about gathering together is getting to listen to other hunters talk about their past hunts. The stories they tell are exciting and fun,” said Smith.
Mr. Smith says that the dinner is more than just a gathering, but is a culmination of many years of preparation and effort to help others enjoy hunting like he has. “My goal for putting on this game dinner is to help others have that hunt he or she has always wanted” he said “Most my life I have been an outdoorsman. I have always loved camping, fishing, hunting, trapping, etc. I have been very fortunate to hunt the game that I have inside and outside the United States, and I want others to be able to have those same opportunities.”
Along with the meal, their were also prizes, including hunting accessories, and 50/50 drawings. There were also chances for guests to win their own big game hunts, including a chance to hunt moose, caribou, mountain lion, black bear, and wild boar. The proceeds from these drawings will be used to help with the advancement of the dinner in the future, and to help educate the youth on hunting. “We are putting the profit towards youth education of gun shooting, bow shooting, and putting on youth hunts. This is the first year for this game dinner and I have personally spent $20,000 to start this function. I believe educating the young people of America will save lives and create better values. Education is knowledge , and knowledge is safety and freedom”.
Hunting has played a big role in Mr. Smith’s life and he wants to help others share in the enjoyment that he has had. “Hunting trips are always memorable, always different and always new. One never knows what is around the corner when you are on the hunt of an exotic game.” said Smith.
The night saw nearly 500 guests enjoy the company of fellow hunters. Hunting, according to Mr. Smith, has many parallels to life itself, and that much can be learned from the hunting process. “Some hunts you harvest,some you don’t but all hunts are what you make of them. Disappointment only happens when you don’t go, not when you come up short.”