HUR HERALD'S TALES OF BEAR FORK - Yum, Love That Rattlesnake


"Gather 'round now for some really good
vittles" - Bear Fork Hunting Club draws 'em in

A large group of outdoors-men, hunters and their families enjoyed the fruits of the Bear Fork Hunting Club's annual Critter Dinner Saturday at Arnoldsburg.

Among the usual wild meat delicacies was some rattlesnake meat and rabbit stew, placed on the huge table of country cookin' items and deserts.

The event has always included some Appalachian music, performed this year by a mix of music makers from Roane and Calhoun, including one of the last of the county's old-time mountain music makers, Lester McCumbers.

Rattlesnake meat "Tastes just like chicken" (left)
provided by Mr. and Mrs. Brock Brady of Shock (right)

Some folks like an old favorite, rabbit stew (left)
prepared by Cathy Helmick (right) of Euclid-Nicut

Music makers entertaining the crowd (left)
include old-timer John Elliott (right)

Bear Fork hunter Howard Williams with his turkey
claw hat (left) and County Commissioner Kevin Helmick
and Jennifer Cottrell (right) enjoying the meal

The Bear Fork Hunting Club, its' present incarnation from 1971, goes back to the 1800s. It represents a tradition of mountain ways and culture that sprung from the wilderness area that rests mostly in Gilmer and Calhoun.

The Critter Dinner is a get-together embracing life remembered from those days, including the eating of "exotic" wild meat and food.

Charlie McKown and old-time music maker Lester
McCumbers (left) time-out to adore the baby (right)

Spencer's Larry Dent and music-maker associate (left)
while visitors (right) enjoy a great country meal

Even the little guys enjoyed the evening