GOURMET CRITTER AND GREAT COUNTRY FOOD - Bear Fork's "Critter Dinner" 2004

By Bob Weaver

Going through the "Critter" line, with all the extras being served

Charlie McKown says "It's mystery meat, critter style"

Mandolin player Johnny Staats joins in jam session

Hall (left) and McCune (right) sample gourmet critter,
with McCune asking "What is this, really?"

Last night was the annual Bear Fork "Critter Dinner" at the Arnoldsburg Community Building.

Bear Fork Hunting Club has sponsored the wild meat banquet for several years, which generally brings out hundreds of folks, members of the club and their guests.

This year the crowd was down, the county bouncing back from some flooding and snow covering the area's highways.

The meat menu, besides the usual country cookin' fare, often includes everything from bear and buffalo to groundhog and rattlesnake.

Most of the area's musical groups and musicians joined their efforts, jamming to create the evening entertainment. One of the country's best mandolin players Johnny Staats joined in the festivities.

The Bear Fork Hunting Club is a throw-back to the original club which went to the remote backwoods area before 1900 to camp and hunt, often spending several weeks a year.

Many of Calhoun's early citizens were involved in that venture, setting up tents, cook shacks, a country store - even a barbershop. (See TALES OF BEAR FORK on the Herald under PEOPLE, HUMOR AND HISTORY)

Taxidermist Richard Parsons, longtime hunting
club member displays some of his critter work

"This is really some good stuff, tastes like chicken"

Blue grass Saturday night in downtown Arnoldsburg

Some faces of contented eaters...

More pickers and grinners...

And this guy is crittered out, ready to go home