If it was an edible critter that swims, climbs trees or flies, chances are very good that it found its way into anything from a spicy gumbo to a succulent jambalaya Saturday afternoon.

The weather was picture perfect for the First Baptist Church-Orange’s inaugural Wild Game Dinner and the food was even better than the weather. I don’t know that any of the cooks on hand were willing to share their recipes, but they were as varied as the choice of meats and the aroma alone was worth the modest price of admission. When the kids are passing up hush puppies, fries and even desserts to make room for more meat, you know it is good!

The wild game buffet included not only horseshoe and washer competitions, but guest speakers that shared information on everything from the hottest lures to the future of local fishing as well. After even more eating (the feeding frenzy should not be misconstrued as over indulgence as we only wanted the cooks to feel appreciated) there was also a drawing for some great door prizes.

“We couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day, but I was a little concerned that the beautiful weather would actually hurt our turnout,” said Doug Patterson. “Most of the folks on hand are obviously hunters and fishermen and I was afraid that they would be unable to resist the urge to get out on the water!”

“We really had to kind of feel our way when planning something like this,” added Patterson, “but we could not be more pleased with not only the fantastic turnout, but the age diversity represented here as well. There are as many grandparents as kids out here today and that is very gratifying for all the folks that participated in making this happen.”

“Providing families an opportunity to share an afternoon outdoors in a Christian environment was our main objective.” It was obviously mission accomplished as a large number of the attendees were already asking about next year’s dinner well before heading back for seconds.

“We really didn’t know what to expect,” laughed Patterson, “but this crowd answered any questions we may have had as to a need for events like this in our community. I can assure you that we already have even grander plans on the drawing board for next year’s dinner with every intention of doubling in size.”

He shared a little inside scoop on some of the competitions they have planned in conjunction with next year’s dinner, but I was more concerned with just keeping the cooking crew intact. You just cannot eat your way through all of those dishes in a single afternoon!

I will have more details in the very near future, but Darlene Zavada recently sent me a release concerning the upcoming Cabela’s Speckled Trout tournament sponsored by the Orange Convention and Visitor’s Bureau. The two day tournament will once again be based around the Simmons Drive boat ramp area in Orange May 15-16.

The entry fee is $150 per team, but this year’s format will be a little different in an effort to include the kids. You can add a third member to the team if that angler is under the age of 16. Each team will be allowed to weigh-in five fish. There is a total of $7,500 in cash and prizes up for grabs.

For more information, call 1-800-528-4906 or go to www.orangetexas.org.

About Dickie Colburn