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The Millbrook Independent

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Sep 23rd
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Fishing for a good time and cooking up a storm at Lanark
Written by News Desk   
Saturday, 16 August 2014 14:42

8-14awffishBryan Morgan, candidate for Senate District 30, helps Savannah Simpson bait her line at the AWF Youth Fishing Rodeo.

Photo: Brian Hodge

The Alabama Wildlife Federation (AWF) had a busy weekend with the Annual Youth Fishing Rodeo and the AWF Wild Game Cook-off State Finals on Saturday at the Alabama Nature Center at Lanark in Millbrook.

Two hundred children registered to take part in the 12th annual AWF Youth Fishing Rodeo on Saturday. The weather was pleasant, even if for some, the smell of fish bait was less so. Each child was permitted to keep up to five fish to take home. Johnathan Osbourne, of Prattville, says he has brought his son and daughter to the event every year for the last five years.

"They've been coming since they were little," Osbourne said.

Clarence Mann of Millbrook brought his nephew Trenton Hicks to the pond for the first time.

"We are definitely coming back to visit here again," Mann said.

Winners of the Best Overall dish at the AWF Wild Game Cokk-off: Chonita's Cookers with their dish, Big Buck Flatbread Pizza. Team members: Severa & Mark McGrady, Angel & Joey Davis, Jasmine Uribe, Braden Welcher

Photos: Special to The Indy

For all the fun in the morning there was even more planned for Saturday night. Though the rain came down, it did not seem to dampen the spirits of visitors to the AWF Wild Game Cook-off State Finals.

Swine-N-Wine, Dirty Quail in Gumbo Broth and Mad at Gator were just some of the tasty dishes served up to around 325 people at the Alabama Wildlife Federation's (AWF) Wild Game Cook-Off State Finals held at AWF's headquarters in Millbrook Saturday, August 9.  This championship event is a combination of winners from the over 300 cook teams from regional events held throughout the year.  Eleven teams were there to win the coveted State Champion Title, not to mention the $1,000 grand prize that goes along with it! The judges, Major Todd Wheeler of Alabama Army National Guard; Sean Johnson, Central Alabama Area President of Regions Bank; Chuck Sikes, Director of the Alabama Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries and Tina Denton, Co-Manager of Clanton Walmart had a tough time, but in the end winners from the Lake Martin Cook-Off, Chonita's Cookers placed first with their delicious Big Buck Flatbread Pizza. The team also took home the Best Presentation Award. Severa and Mark McGrady, Angel and Joey Davis, Jasmine Uribe and Braden Welcher made up team the winning team. Sean Johnson stated, "the quality of food was outstanding and well above all of my expectations. I am certainly not a wild game connoisseur, but the taste, presentation and overall caliber of food was unbelievable."

Second Place Winner, People's Choice Award and Best Presentation Runner-Up Award from the Covington County Cook-Off, Team Massey including Gary Musgrove, Jeff Owens, Johnny Duggan and Chris Little placed with their delicious Swine-N-Wine. First South Farm Credit of the Limestone County Cook-Off, including Grant Bennett, Randy Allen, Jeff Ferguson and Mike Besh took home Third Place for their delectable Dirty Quail Gumbo Broth.

In addition to the great food, there was a silent auction, raffle and entertainment provided by Michael Rhodes.

The purpose of AWF Wild Game Cook-Offs is to supply a place for AWF members to interact, for non-members to learn more about AWF, and to provide the opportunity to raise funds to support AWF and its programs and projects.  The Cook-Offs also demonstrate that sportsmen/women utilize the wild game and fish they harvest and cook it with care, skill and expertise to produce great table fare.

 
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