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Leave it to beaver to brighten Aulne church’s ‘Beast Feast’

Staff writer

Anyone who likes to try new foods would have had their fill Saturday at the third annual Beast Feast put on by the men of Aulne United Methodist Church.

The event brought a capacity crowd of 300 people to Marion County Lake Hall to consume all manner of wild game including squirrel, rabbit, pigeon, deer, and bobcat. Oh, yes, beaver and rattlesnake, as well.

Several people who ate beaver said it was a new experience and they liked it. Rattlesnake, on the other hand, was a different story. Most people said it was tough and bony.

Most of the meat was prepared on site on grills, in smokers, and over fire pits.

Ryan Barkdull of Diamond Archery in Wichita was spotted preparing rattlesnake, squirrel, rabbit, and goose in a smoker.

Kevin Fruechting of Marion was deep-frying fish of many kinds – flathead, catfish, channel cat, white bass, and wipers — taken from the Cottonwood River and Marion Reservoir. Evan Just was grilling goose shish-ka-bobs and deer steaks.

Choices were too numerous to mention all of them, but deep-fried mountain oysters, pulled pork, venison with noodles, and deer heart were some of the other choices, with coleslaw, baked beans, and cheesy potatoes thrown in for good measure.

“This was good,” Jack Branson of Marion said. “I brought the Bobcat Boppers. It was the first time I ate cat.”

Ten-year-old Wade Flaming of Peabody said he liked the fish best.

Jarrett Johnson, 19, of Marion enjoyed the feast.

“I liked the beaver, but the frog legs were my favorite,” he said. “They tasted like chicken.”

Aulne UMC Pastor Jeff Lee said the event raised $3,000 for Marion County Food Bank last year.

“We do this to make a memory for those of you who live in this community,” he said, “and it’s also a reminder of a God who loves us and has blessed us with the great outdoors.”

The event concluded with distribution of numerous outdoor-themed raffle prizes, including two rifles and a crossbow.

Fruechting said Monday that the event had grossed almost $4,400, and, after expenses are deducted, the contribution to the food bank would be considerably more than last year.

Last modified March 22, 2018

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