Gourmet Gone Wild introduces hunting and fishing to young professionals

A local program capitalizes on the locavore movement to inform Michigan citizens about the benefits and value of hunting and fishing activities, as well as the nutritional and culinary benefits associated with the consumption of wild fish and game.

November 11, 2013

A local program capitalizes on the locavore movement to inform Michigan citizens about the benefits and value of hunting and fishing activities, as well as the nutritional and culinary benefits associated with the consumption of wild fish and game.

 

Gourmet Gone Wild (GGW) invites groups of young professionals to GGW events to sample professionally prepared wild fish and game entrees paired with local wine and beer while learning about the health benefits of eating locally, and the role hunters and anglers play in conserving natural resources.

 

“Gourmet Gone Wild seeks to showcase wild fish and game as a fun, delicious and elegant cuisine while also placing an emphasis on procuring and consuming local products,” Jordan Burroughs, academic specialist in the Michigan State University Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, said.

 

During a cooking demonstration, the final component of the event, a professional chef describes how to treat wild game proteins with care and to produce delicious meals that rival any prepared with commercially produced meats.

 

“We hope to challenge the popular myths that wild game is tough, hard to cook or ‘gamey’ and show instead that it can become a staple in people’s diets if prepared correctly,” said Alyssa Wethington, intern at GGW. “Plus, harvesting your own wild fish or game is a fun, family-friendly activity that gives back to Michigan’s natural resources.”

GGW plugs into events that young professionals are already attending, Erin McDonough, director of the Michigan United Conservation Clubs (MUCC), said.

“This program is unique in that it connects young professionals through mechanisms they are already interested in, such as eating local, sustainable, and healthy, and parlays their current interest into increased awareness and stewardship of our natural resources,” McDonough said.

''GGW made a big difference in the life of Anthony Tyler, an investment associate at Tri-Star Trust Bank and chair of the Saginaw Valley Young Professional’s Network.

“Many of us had an appreciation for our local natural resources, but when you learn about the impact it makes in your own backyard or local community, you develop a new appreciation,” said Tyler.

Attendees of GGW events are invited to try hunting or fishing firsthand at Gourmet Gone Wild-er (GGW-er) events. Generally taking place in the same city or surrounding area as the GGW events, GGW-er programs take the message one step further and challenge participants to get involved in procuring their own game. While some events take participants directly into the field or stream to harvest fish or game, others, such as archery workshops, give individuals the basic tools they need to get involved in harvesting game in the future.

 

Specifically, the Gourmet Gone Wild program aims to:

  • Articulate the relevance of hunting and angling to attract a new generation of lifelong conservationists.
  • Promote awareness of and connect to the many angling and hunting opportunities available across the state.
  • Improve the public perception and image of hunters and anglers.
  • Strengthen and enlarge our conservation community and increase the number of people who support and participate in hunting and fishing.
  • Instill the desire to preserve our great state and protect its natural resources and outdoor heritage.

 

“Through the GGW Program, we are exploring innovative methods aimed at reaching nontraditional audiences that have the potential to be receptive to the hunting, fishing and conservation message and lifestyle,” Burroughs said. “This program is Pure Michigan – not only do participants benefit from this experience, so do Michigan’s natural resources by creating new conservation stewards and recreationists to help protect and conserve our fish, wildlife and outdoor heritage.”

 

The Boone and Crockett Club, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, the Michigan State University Department of Fisheries and Wildlife and Michigan United Conservation Clubs jointly fund and operate Gourmet Gone Wild.

 

For more information, visit www.gourmetgonewild.org, or email the program manager at goumetgonewild@mucc.org.

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