St. Peter's Episcopal Church held its first Wild Game Supper on Saturday, Mar. 12 at Shadow Creek off of Silcott Springs Road in Purcellville. Earlier in the day, there was a trade show on the grounds featuring Legacy Sports in Warrenton, the Friends of the National Rifle Association, and other hunting and fishing businesses.
The day events included ranges for skeet, archery and air rifles, and demonstrations of primitive fire-making techniques, deer butchering, bird dogging, and gold-medal-winning archery. Mr. Bruce Coil and his Bible study buddies smoked and grilled up hot, delicious finger-food throughout the day, including duck, goose, quail, dove, pheasant, and wild salmon.
About 250 parishioners, friends, and hunters in the community turned out with some of their finest fusions of wild game entrees to share. The dinner menu included such delicacies as wild boar, pheasant, turkey, rabbit, squirrel, wild salmon, plus venison made into lasagna, stews, roasts, pies, enchilada pie and sloppy joes. There was also a great variety of side dishes and desserts.
Dan LePre, a member of St. Peters, attended the dinner and said that as a hunter he really enjoys wild game food. His favorite dish was the venison lasagna and thought the squirrel pie was delicious too. "This evening was a great ice breaker to meet new people. There's a lot of common ground here, those who like to hunt and those who like to cook."
Legacy Outdoor Sports Club representatives Daniel Scott, Reginald Simmons, and Andrew Jennings were the game supper judges. The wild boar taco cups placed first. In second place was the yard bird chili and in third place was the duck pheasant gumbo. The judges were impressed with the 29 different dishes prepared for the supper. They had a hard time picking just three of their favorites.
After dinner, Father Tom warmed up the crowd with a story on the life of Izaak Walton, the author of the book, The Compleat Angler, published in 1653, which is still in print today. Tom talked about how the value Walton placed on friendship is important to us right now in Loudoun County.
"The significance of this man for us today is that Izaak Walton valued friendship. He invested time in high quality friendships with other men and he knew them so well that he would write their biographies," said Father Tom. There's nothing like hunting, fishing and the shooting sports to create the environment where those types of friendships can thrive. You can even go so far to say that fishing equals friendship, he said.
"But there's the problem in Loudoun County we are often too busy for fishing OR friends," he added.
The idea behind Saturday night's Wild Game Supper event was Turning Strangers into Friends, as Father Tom pointed toward a banner at the front of the room. "We are gathering the community so we can connect around some common interest hunting, fishing and really good food and maybe even broaden our circle of friends," he said. "This is a place to connect and to welcome new people into our circle of friends."
USMC Maj. Richard Burkett, Jr., Trainwreck, gave the keynote address, which addressed his experience of perseverance and the power of prayer. In 2012, just two weeks into his fourth deployment as a member of the Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 261 (Reinforced), 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, Maj. Burkett was flying an MV-22B in support of Operation African Lion. He and three other Marines assigned to the 24th MEU crashed in Morocco. Only two Marines survived the crash. Maj. Burkett continues to be a patient of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, MD. Earlier in the day, Maj. Burkett, who is also a para-Olympic gold medal winner in archery, demonstrated his skill by landing ten arrows in the bulls-eye at 50 meters. Â
Retired Lt. Col. Oliver North closed the formal presentations with some stories and anecdotes from his career as a battlefield correspondent for Fox News and some heart-warming stories about the US military. He closed by sharing how faith in Jesus has guided his life.
There was no charge for the event, which was open to the community. Many stayed for hours eating and catching up with old friends, and many had the opportunity to make new friends. Keep an eye out! Fr. Tom and the organizers intend to do it again next year.