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28th Annual Wild Game Banquet to be held Feb. 9

— Open Door Baptist Church, Route 13 and Delphi Road, New Woodstock, is once again hosting its annual banquet starting at 5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 9, with seminars and displays.

This annual tradition started on Feb. 22, 1986, under the leadership of then-Pastor David Little, who is presently serving as president of Baptist Church Planters, a mission organization located in Grafton, Ohio. Since then, the tradition has continued with the leadership of Pastor Joe Riggs up to the present with Pastor David DeLeon.

It began as an outreach to men and boys and was known as the Men’s Wildlife Banquet. With the passing of time it has come to be known as the Annual Wild Game Banquet and is open to all who enjoy the outdoors, hunting, fishing, trapping and, of course, eating wild game.

There has been a guest speaker each year to do a special presentation since the beginning. Rev. Paul Blasko, an outdoorsman, hunter and wildlife photographer was the first guest speaker. He also spoke for the 25th anniversary and in other years.

Speakers have included an outdoor photographer, bow hunter, African hunter, writer, guide, taxidermist, colonel, expert marksman, filmmaker, western outfitter, missionary and even Dr. David Little, a whitetail deer hunter.

This year a group, “The Call Outdoors,” will be the guest speakers with waterfowl and turkey hunting tips, demonstrations and video footage.

Through the years there have been a variety of seminars to choose from, such as deer hunting, bow hunting, how to field dress and butcher your deer, antler scoring, archery, history of guns and ammo, fishing, fly tying, turkey calling, trapping and other outdoor subjects.

Each year there were drawings for door prizes until Senior Pastor Chuck Little began making a gun cabinet for a drawing of the grand prize, starting another new tradition to hand down. This continued until he passed away. Now Bill Vair, who is Pastor Chuck’s “grandson-in-law,” has been making the gun cabinet.

There has never been a charge to attend the banquet. Just bring yourself, your trophies and, if possible, a dish to pass.

Have your deer antlers scored while you’re there. Bring the whole family for a wonderful evening.

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