Who says there’s no such thing as a free lunch?
If you are thinking about lunch a couple of weeks down the road, write
“LASF” on the August 14 space on your calendar. That translates into “Lunch
At State Fair,” and its best feature lies in the fact that the menu is
strictly wild game and fish, not to mention that Hoosierland’s outdoorsy
folks will pick up the tab.
Since its inception, the first Saturday of the State Fair has been the
date for the Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) and more specifically
the Division of Fish and Wildlife’s annual “Wild Game Cookout.”
Nobody seems to know exactly how many years it has been going on, but
it was launched nearly 15 years ago with the purpose of calling the attention
of Hoosiers to the fact that hunting and fishing--and their residuals--are
a big thing for the state.
It started slowly, but has gained momentum over the years and last year
estimates placed the number of diners at more than 2,000. Estimates have
been more that 1,500 for several years.
Actually, it is not free. Sportsmen’s organizations of the state and
the Division of Fish and Wildlife absorb the cost, which must be considerable,
in the name of proving to the public that hunting and fishing--among other
things--provide tons of great food. To prove their point, representatives
of participating organizations and the DFW arrive with the sun on the day
of the big feed, and by 11 a.m. they are ready to serve, both literally
At this point it would be next to impossible to list participating organizations
and the “dishes” they concoct behind the Fairgrounds’ Natural Resources
Building. But it is safe to say the Northern Indiana Steelheaders will
tickle lots of palates with both pan-fried and broiled trout and salmon,
not to mention the fact that Dick Mercier’s Sportsmen’s Roundtable will
stop as many grumbling tummies with the old-favorite “creek
And that’s only a good start. There are turkey K-bobs, venison chili,
burgers, beaver barbeque, to name a few more tantalizing treats, and fellowship
you wouldn’t believe.
Chow lines start forming about 10:30 at the rear of the DNR building
as the aroma of cooked wild things wafts over the northwest corner of the
racetrack, and when the green flag is waved at 11 a.m. folks start savoring
the delightful dishes of the wild chefs. It winds up when the food is gone
so don’t be late.
on thumbnail image to view enlarged photo.
provided by John Maxwell, Indiana DNR]
Gibbony, Brownsburg, and Tom Harriett, flip a flat of creek bank taters
at the 2003 Wild Game Cookout.
Mahoney, Columbus, serves barbequed beaver at the 2003 Wild Game Cookout.
Mercier, president of the Indiana Sportsmen's Roundtable, samples the creek
close encounter with a plate of creek bank taters.
Mahoney (foreground), Columbus, helps diners through the chow line.
grill of the Northern Indiana Trout/Salmon Association turns out delicious
trout and salmon fare.
Jon Marshall, affable and energetic chief of the DFW’s public information
section for several years, Monday (August 2, 2004)
announced his departure for D.J. Case & Associates, a Mishawaka based
conservation and natural resources communications firm.
Marshall, who brought numerous innovations to the DFW’s public information
setup, announced his departure to fellow DFW employees as follows:
“With a gut-wrenching mixture of apprehension and excitement, I am resigning
my public affairs position with the DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife
to pursue conservation communication work with D.J. Case & Associates.
“I would be more apprehensive about the move if it was not for the fact
that I will be able to continue working with the Indiana DNR team as a
partner. I will also be able to expand my knowledge and reach by working
with conservation agencies and organizations throughout the nation.
“D.J. Case & Associates is a dedicated and talented team of conservation
communicators. Many of you who have worked with Dave Case, Phil Seng,
Gwen White and Tim Longwell will attest to their drive and creativity.
“I have seen a number of these 'goodbye' emails from co-workers that
mentioned greener pastures (green = $). This move is not about money.
I owe a great deal to the Indiana DNR team. I feel that I have only given
back a fraction of what I have gained in knowledge and livelihood.
I hope to continue contributing to natural resource conservation programs
here in Indiana.”