An amazing wild game dinner, from the bourbon maple bear bites to the pickled moose sausage.

GameDinner1-JCR-600x398Beaver bites with a mustard dipping sauce. Moose heart anticuchos. Pickled moose sausage. Bourbon maple bear bites. Pulled goose with cherry BBQ. Smoked turkey. Venison soppressata. Moose pastrami. Smoked togue.

The 12th annual Unity College Sportsman’s Conference and Wild Game Supper on April 8 was terrific – and very tasty. All of the dishes mentioned above were the appetizers! And yes, I tried them all. And enjoyed seconds on several.

This amazing event raises money for various charities and always sells out well in advance. I encouraged them to find a bigger venue because I think a lot more people would enjoy this experience. The place was packed with everyone from students to outdoor leaders including DIF&W Commissioner Chandler Woodcock. It was a lot of fun visiting with people during the first hour while we enjoyed all those appetizers. I especially enjoyed talking to Michael Latti, whose dad Mark works in DIF&W’s Information and Education Division. My sister Edie and I sat with Mark and his family at the dinner.

This year’s proceeds went to Operation Game Thief, the Military Order of the Purple Heart, and Unity College, which will use its funds from the dinner to purchase two electric game hoists for its new sporting station. Yes, they have a building in which students can process their wild game and fish. I’ll bet not many colleges can say that!

My friend and fellow writer Joe Saltalamachia is Director of Admissions at the college and does a superb job for them, including his leadership of this event. Joe even does a lot of the cooking, along with a professional chef. This year that was Jamie Moffatt.

I’ll bet you’d like to know about the rest of the meal. Well, entrees, all served family style, were Fried Crappie, Venison Cheddar Pies, Moose Steak Roll-Ups, Moose Sausage Cannelloni, and Moose Meatloaf. Hard to pick a favorite, but I especially loved the venison cheddar pie, as Joe predicted I would.

Hard to believe I had room for dessert, but the Frosted Carrot Cake made by Crosstrax was soooo tempting. Even the beers were great – Whitetail Pale Ale and Moose Maple Brown Ale made locally. Yes, I tried them both.

The event attracts a long list of sponsors and donors from Cabela’s to Heidi Joe’s Jerky and the Maine Trappers Association to Carlson’s Taxidermy and Orion Outfitters and Guide Service.

This was the first time I’ve been able to attend, but you can be certain I won’t miss another of Unity’s great Wild Game Dinners!

George Smith

About George Smith

George stepped down at the end of 2010 after 18 years as the executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine to write full time. He writes a weekly editorial page column in the Kennebec Journal and Waterville Morning Sentinel, a weekly travel column in those same newspapers (with his wife Linda), monthly columns in The Maine Sportsman magazine, two outdoor news blogs (one on his website,, and one on the website of the Bangor Daily News), and special columns for many publications and newsletters. Islandport Press published a book of George's favorite columns, "A Life Lived Outdoors" in 2014. In 2014, George also won a Maine Press Association award for writing the state's bet sports blog. In 2016, Down East Books published George's book, Maine Sporting Camps, and Islandport Press published George and his wife Linda's travel book, Take It From ME, about their favorite Maine inns and restaurants.