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Wild game cook-off returns to Ennis

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By Jessianne Wright EBS Contributor

BOZEMAN – The 32nd annual Hunters Feed returns to Ennis this year on Oct. 20, sponsored by the Ennis Chamber of Commerce. The event is held every year on the Friday before opening day of general rifle hunting season, welcoming hunters, families and food enthusiasts to a wild game cook-off.

Anyone can register to compete as a chef in the cook-off, but should be prepared to feed as many as 500 people. Chefs are encouraged to offer up creative wild game dishes and past entries have included moose chili, game bird carbonara, tequila elk chili, elk fajitas, duck stroganoff and even bear pizza.

Abigail King of the Ennis Chamber says that this year, folks can look forward to sampling dishes like smoked deer sausage jambalaya, venison taco soup and Polish hunter’s elk sausage.

Between 3 and 5 p.m. people are invited to join the chefs on Main Street to sample recipes and vote on their favorites.

“The idea of having a wild game meat cook-off started back in 1985, after a few local hunters began pondering a way to empty their freezers in preparation for the upcoming hunting season,” King said. “Hunting is big in Ennis and people have really enjoyed this event for over 30 years. Some of the dishes are so popular that the participants share their recipes as well.

“While summer is great, many get excited with the change of season; whether it be for hunting, skiing, snow shoeing, baking or all things pumpkin and apple,” King added. “This event is just another way to celebrate fall.”

Following the Hunters Feed, Willie’s Distillery will host a Critter Call Competition at 6 p.m., where kids and adults are invited to compete in five animal call categories: big game, waterfowl and upland bird, predator, barnyard animal and other.

To learn more about the annual Ennis Hunters Feed or to sign up as a chef, visit Pre-registration for the animal call competition can be done by emailing or by calling (406) 682-4117. Registration the day of the event ends at 5 p.m.

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