We all look forward to occasions when like-minded folks can muster together and share a unique experience. Especially when that wonderful experience is centered around conservation and our beloved wild game! On Saturday February 25th, a sold out crowd was able to join the Indiana BHA Chapter at the Fishers Test Kitchen for a wonderful evening built around conservation education and superb wild game dishes.
The setting of the event was the upstairs private seating area of the Fishers Test Kitchen. The comforting environment allowed folks a space to enjoy this event starting with a social hour. During this networking time, folks were able to purchase raffle tickets, bid on several amazing silent auction items (all items listed below), and get acquainted with many new enthusiastic conservationists. During this time, the chefs presented several wild game appetizers that were exquisitely prepared! Everyone beamed with the sight of these dishes and their first opportunity to taste the much-anticipated wild game that had been arousing curiosity for nearly a month!
The evening then moved along to everyone being seated, and the BHA Chapter Coordinator Jameson Hibbs presenting to the audience the planning of the evening along with important information about Backcountry Hunters & Anglers and why folks should be involved. This was followed by the Indiana BHA Chapter Chair Nick Kaufman, who presented on the great work and progress that the Indiana Chapter is making around the state. Nick highlighted that the chapter is working on over 25 events for the 2023 year along with securing state corporate partners and creating opportunities for everyone to be involved.
Dinner is served!! The aroma that filled the air when the main dishes were being presented was one that is only compared to a well-prepared holiday dinner with your closest family and friends. However, knowing what lie within these dishes, prepared by three professional chefs, catapulted the eagerness to finally put an end to the anticipation. Our chefs, Chris Eley of the Smoking Goose, Neal Brown from Howe & Brown Hospitality and the Fishers Test Kitchen, along with the head chef at the Fishers Test Kitchen Levi Kinney, worked together and prepared what some stated is the best meal they’ve ever experienced. Their menu included:
- Adobo mix fry of squirrel, dove, and rabbit,
- Caesar Venison Backstrap Tar Tar,
- Venison Crepinette,
- Pheasant & Kale Soup w/ Lemon,
- Seared Confit Duck with Local Honey & Scorpion Butter,
- Venison Sausage Salad,
- Venison Leg Stuffed with Venison, Ham, Lemon & Pecorino,
- Brussel Sprouts roasted in Beaver Fat with Braised Beaver
- Scalloped Potatoes with Pastrami Deer Heart
It is difficult to place into words the experience created by these three chefs as they poured their energy and expertise into these dishes. Expectations were far surpassed, plates were cleaned, and a sense of fulfillment captured the essence everyone present. However, conservation knows no bounds and while folks were entering into culinary ecstasy, we continued our presentations. Scott Salmon, policy committee chair of the Indiana BHA Chapter prepared and delivered a precise presentation covering aspects of Indiana policy as it relates to conservation. Scott had a great message of expressing the need for conservationists to stay educated and ready to contact elected officials with both concerns and gratitude towards legislation impacting conservation.
Two special presentations were planned for the evening, each covering conservation but from different avenues. Our first, was Mr. Jim Sweeney and Jeff Manes, who are the producer and author of the award-winning film “Everglades of the North; The Story of the Grand Kankakee Marsh”. These gentleman explained in detail the importance of this northern region of Indiana and how the marsh was an extremely important layer of our landscape. This presentation demonstrated the complexity and value of our wetlands and marshes and how these ecosystems play a vital role in habitat and water quality. The film trailer was played and every attendee left with a copy of this amazing film. *Side note, these two gentleman were recently interviewed by Hal Herring so stay tuned to the BHA Podcast for their episode!
The next presentation was nothing short of amazing and was a message to absorb prior to wrapping up the evening. Amos Rodriguez, instructor at White Pines Academy, participant in Alone Season 7, survival expert, and conservationist graced us with his story and perspective on the importance of conservation in North America. Arriving in Indiana from Central America, Amos quickly became intrigued with a new style of outdoor pursuits slightly different than his previous experiences. His humble and curious disposition has led him down an amazing path of various outdoor initiatives allowing him to create a very popular YouTube Channel. Amos is a passionate individual and everyone felt and absorbed his message!
The night concluded with awarding the raffle prizes and silent auction bidders items. Everyone left with a simple yet complex conservation message “It’s our turn”.
A huge thank you is in order to the Indiana Chapter Board and Events Committee members for donation the proteins, planning assistance, and volunteering their time at the event!
We want to send our deepest gratitude to the chefs, the presenters, and the staff at the Fishers Test Kitchen.
Thanks to From Field to Table for attending and capturing the experience through his lens and for use of these amazing images! You can follow From Field to Table by clicking these links on both Facebook and Instagram.
Last but certain not least, we want to say thank you to all those not only purchased tickets to attend but also raffle tickets and bids on our sweet prizes.
One of the main objectives of this event, was to raise necessary funds for the Indiana BHA Chapter. The money accrued from this event will allow the Indiana Chapter to increase their impact on conservation with diverse events and grass root efforts throughout Indiana! Follow the chapter on both Facebook and Instagram to learn more about chapter initiatives.
- $1000 to Weatherby (National BHA Partner)
- $500 to Finex Cast Iron Cookware (National BHA Partner)
- $500 to Flint Ridge Rifles (Indiana and Michigan Chapter Partner)
- Yeti Roadie Softsided Cooler (National BHA Partner)
Silent Auction Items:
- Two Forks Guide Service – Full day trip for 2 (Event Table Sponsor & Indiana Bronze Partner)
- Friends of the White River – Educational float trip up to 12 people
- Waltons Avail Fly Rod with Avari Reel
- Flymasters of Indy – Echo Traverse rod, reel, and case + admission for one to their fly fishing school
- French Lick Resorts – One night stay for two with breakfast at their Colinnade
- Vintage Coleman Lantern converted to electric use