First event of its kind lures in big guns of outdoor entertainment
Christian Carlson hopes to see those who come to Mount View High School Saturday, Oct. 12, ready to talk all things hunting, trapping and fishing — and all are encouraged to dress for the occasion.
"I'm going to be slightly disappointed if I look out into the crowd and I don't see any red and black flannel or blaze orange hats," said Carlson, organizer of the event billed as Maine Sportsman's night.
The all day event will feature many familiar faces in the world of outdoor entertainment, with Justin Martin of Duck Dynasty fame to serve as the keynote speaker. Carlson said there would also be an opportunity for fans of the A&E reality show to meet Martin, snap photos and get autographs from the Duck Commander employee.
In addition, the event will offer a meet and greet with the officers of North Woods Law and Blaine Anthony, also known as "The Bear Whisperer."
For those seeking new and inventive ways to cook the foods they hunt or pull from the stream, Carolson said organizers invited Master Wild Game Chef Denny Corriveau, who will offer tastings of his unique dishes.
There will be seminars throughout the day regarding a wide variety of topics — everything from a session on predator calling with Dick Drysdale to a talk about the ongoing black bear study program at Unity College.
Maine Sportsman's Night will also be the place to see some well-known outdoorsmen who are a bit closer to home, as local authors John Ford Sr., a retired game warden, and Mark Nickerson, a retired state trooper, will be on hand to sign copies of their books.
Carlson said there will be no shortage of door prizes, all of which are compliments of outfitters like Cabela's, HT Enterprises, Federal Premium Ammo and Delorme Atlas Maine, to name a few.
"They've all been super willing to send stuff," said Carlson.
One lucky duck will win a fully guided sea duck hunt with Maine Master Guide Clifton Ames of Ten Mile Guide Service.
Carlson is a member of the Knox Ridge Baptist Church, and the church is sponsoring the event in the interest of connecting local families who share a love of the outdoors.
Carlson, who moved to the Unity area from Michigan about 10 years ago, said his church back home would organize an annual get-together called Big Buck Night, which offered a wild game potluck meal and a speaker on a variety of outdoor topics.
About a year ago, Carlson thought a similar event might be a big draw in Waldo County. The thought morphed into an idea after he saw a few episodes of Duck Dynasty, and then learned the cast members of the show were doing speaking engagements across the country.
"I saw that show and thought, 'This is totally something me an my buddies would do," said Carlson of the Louisiana-based Duck Commander crew.
Still unsure he could bring a part of the hit show to Thorndike, Carlson contacted Martin's booking agent to see about scheduling and costs. Then Carlson took the idea to the church leadership.
"They said let's do it," said Carlson.
Carlson also stressed that just because a church is sponsoring the event doesn't mean it's only geared toward those who share in the belief's of its members — they want to meet everyone who loves the outdoors as much as they do.
"We're Christians, but we're real people just like everyone else," said Carlson. "It's not necessarily about filling the pews at church; we just want to meet people."
Admission for the event is $16, and tickets are on sale now at the Maine Sportsman's Night website. Due to limited seating, Carlson encouraged those interested in attending to order tickets ahead of time. In addition to the wild game tastings, there will be food available for purchase at the event.
207-338-3333 ext. 109
Tanya has been a general news reporter in Waldo County since 1997.
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