Optimists’ Wild Game Feed set for Monday

By: 
Jamie Hult, Staff writer
Folks fill their plates at last year’s Wild Game Feed fundraiser for the BV Optimist Club. The 2019 event, which was held over two nights, raised more than $20,000 in donations. Jill Meier/File photo

Annual all-you-can-eat affair pared down to one night, benefits community

Though the event has been pared down from two nights to one and includes mandatory admission this year, the Brandon Valley Optimists’ 12th annual Wild Game Feed Monday night promises plenty of exotic dishes for even the most adventurous palate.
Set to start at 4 p.m. Jan. 13 at 212º The Boiling Point, the game feed will feature around 50 dishes incorporating 12 different animals, said 212º owner-chef Kyle Thill. 
Game feed organizers decided to add a $10 admission for adults and $5 for kids this year rather than relying strictly on donations, as the event has in previous years. A fundraiser for the BV Optimists, the feed brought in more than $20,000 last year, Thill said.
“Some people donate generously; some don’t. The group thought $10 was more than fair for unlimited food,” he said. 
Last year was Thill’s first time hosting the game feed since taking over 212º from former owner Mark Fonder. Thill invested $3,000 in the event himself to cover all the ingredients, sauces, seasonings and extras used in the dishes.
Monday’s menu is expected to feature two first-time dishes: smoked mountain lion and fried porcupine. The first, Thill said, tastes similar to pork loin, and the latter will be smoked in smaller quantities.
“I’m praying we’ll get the porcupine in, because I’d love to try it,” he said.
The menu will also include wild game standards like alligator, bear, deer, elk, fish, moose, pheasant, racoon, wild boar and even a smoked pig.
Josh Buhman is chairing the Optimists’ event this year. The club channels all the money raised back into the community, primarily to help fund family and youth events.
“The game feed is a fun way for people to try new things, meet new people and help the Optimist Club raise money for the community,” Buhman said. “We hope to raise money for the club and for people to have a fun time and try something new.”
Prepping for the wild game feed starts four days prior to the event with thawing. On Sunday, workers begin cleaning and cutting the game before launching into the actual cooking, which is typically an all-day affair. Thill cooked 24 hours straight for last year’s feed.
“It’s a lot of preparation,” he admitted.
Food will be brought out fresh until 8 p.m., and Thill expects to serve between 250 and 350 people.
“It could be chaos this year,” he predicts. “Come early.”
Ten guns and 10 Big Frig coolers will also be raffled off, along with an assortment of miscellaneous items.
Reservations are being accepted for $50, including the $10 admission, by calling 212º at 605-582-3531.

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