Annual Wild Game Dinner Serves Good Cause​

University of Tennessee Wildlife and Fisheries Society Wild Game Dinner

A crowd lines up for a previous Wild Game Dinner presented by the University of Tennessee Wildlife and Fisheries Society​ to benefit student activities. The 2016 dinner will be held Saturday, February 20, at 5:30 p.m. in the Brehm Animal Science Arena, 2506 River Drive, on the UT Institute of Agriculture campus in Knoxville. The donation at the door is $10 per person, with $5 suggested if you bring a dish. Photo by H. Inman, courtesy UTIA. Download image​.

Meals of smoked beaver, fried fish, raccoon and squirrel meat, and much more await adventurous eaters Saturday, February 20. An assortment of delicious wild game foods will be in the serving line when student members of the University of Tennessee Wildlife and Fisheries Society host their 47th Annual Wild Game Dinner at the UT Institute of Agriculture in Knoxville. Members of the public are invited.

The hi
ghly popular meal starts at 5:30 p.m. in Brehm Animal Science Arena, 2506 River Drive, on university’s agricultural campus. Everyone is asked to bring a dish, containing wild game or not. Entrees, sides, salads and desserts are all welcome. Many guests contribute wild game dishes such as moose, elk, duck, and more.

The fundraiser enables the Society’s roughly 100 members to participate the annual Southeastern Wildlife Conclave, The Wildlife Society meetings and annual conference, American Fisheries Society meetings, and a variety of field-based projects assisting conservation partners with management and research activities. Most recently, the students have begun a large-scale effort to study American woodcock on surrounding public lands in East Tennessee.

Last spring, funds also aided the students as they competed against 21 other universities and colleges in the Southeastern Wildlife Conclave. UT’s team won the event, which is considered the SEC Championship Tournament for wildlife programs. Another benefit of the society is how its senior members share their mastery of technical skills with students unfamiliar with field work.

“The Society gives students hands-on experience beyond the classroom and provides them with opportunities to interact with their peers and professionals. That's our purpose, and that's what the money we raise at the Wild Game Dinner is for,” says Society president Ethan Newman. “People who attend the dinner help UT students better achieve and prepare for their careers ahead.”

Newman says the dinner is an opportunity for community members to step out of their comfort zone and try different selections of meat that people across the country eat daily as a legacy.

“In some places in this country, people rely on wild animals to make a living and to have food at the end of the day. That's really the take home message for this. The dinner is also a gateway for us to educate people about the importance of conservation of our natural resources.”

Newman noted that many Tennesseans don’t realize that hunting, trapping, and fishing licenses and permits, and excise taxes on associated equipment, are what fund wildlife protection and wildlife conservation efforts statewide.

The evening features silent and live auctions, and prize drawings for an array of items donated to help the students’ cause. These include hunting and fishing equipment, limited edition prints, bird nesting boxes, live plants, poultry, and home décor. Live music will add to the fun.

The donation at the door is $10 for each person, with $5 off if you bring a dish. Uniformed officers, military personnel, and children 12 and under eat free. Tickets may also be purchased in advance and help the students with planning.

For more information, call 865-974-7346 or email​

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Miriam Wright,