Who says there is no free lunch? With hunting season in full swing, on Oct. 25 NRA Hunter Services and Hunters’ Leadership Forum (HLF) employees celebrated the freedom to hunt by commandeering the parking lot at NRA headquarters in Fairfax, Va., to host a free wild game lunch for fellow NRA employees. And judging by the lines at the various food stations, the tasty low-cholesterol, high-protein venison backstrap and tenderloin, pulled venison BBQ, goose kielbasa and waterfowl tacos were quite the hit.
As co-workers enjoyed the camaraderie, NRA Hunter Services and HLF staffers had met their goal: to share their bounty and introduce more people to wild game. In the works for five months, event planning included having NRA hunters spend a few fun days afield to harvest five whitetail deer just for the massive batch of pulled venison BBQ alone. One staffer even donated her first deer to the cause.
Employees didn't mind the lines at the inaugural NRA Wild Game Luncheon. The event is just one more way that NRA Hunter Services and NRA Hunters' Leadership Forum work to promote—even within the NRA—the rich traditions of our hunting heritage. (Image by NRA Publications.)
“It was a great chance for us as an institution to come together, celebrate the freedom to hunt and have some fun,” said Peter Churchbourne, a director with the NRA Hunters’ Leadership Forum, who was one of the hunters providing venison. “With all the pressures of our work, and the stress from the commute, it was a great way to meet some new people in different NRA divisions, enjoy the fall air and try the wonderful protein of venison and other wild game.”
Rather than serve up a typical lunch, NRA staffers turned it into a true celebration with one employee serving as a DJ, while some played cornhole and others socialized. It was such a hit there are plans to do a few of these types of events every year to bring our employees together for some fun.
Fortunately for those seeking a good venison recipe, Churchbourne is happy to share the one he used for the luncheon. “Now people can try it themselves and enjoy the rewards of taking their nutritious wild game, or the game given to them by the hunters in their lives, from field to table,” he said.
In addition to a mouth-watering selection of low-cholesterol, high-protein game meat and all the fixings, there were plenty of activities for family members. (Image by NRA Publications.)
Pulled Venison BBQ
1 whole bone-in deer hindquarter (Churchbourne suggests using a fresh hindquarter that has never been frozen.)
4 cups of beef broth
2 chopped onions
1 quart of chopped mushrooms
Rub the hindquarter with the seasoning of your choice the day prior to cooking.
Bring your grill (coals or gas) to 225-250 degrees, then place the hindquarter directly on the grill for two to three hours.
Remove the hindquarter and place it in an aluminum pan. Add the beef broth, chopped onions and chopped mushrooms. Cover tightly with heavy foil.
Cook for another four to six hours until the meat falls off the bone by itself. You should be able to shake the meat off the bone.
Use heavy gloves to finish separating the meat into shredded portions. Season to taste with your favorite BBQ sauce.
About the Author: Karen Mehall Phillips is the director of communications for the NRA Hunters’ Leadership Forum and senior editor of NRA’s American Hunter. An avid rifle and bow hunter, she has hunted for 30 years and in 29 states, Canada, Italy, Finland, Germany, Spain, New Zealand, Greenland and Africa, including for two of the Big Five.
Karen draws on her experience to educate non-hunters on the critical role that hunters play in wildlife conservation worldwide and to inform them of the dangers anti-hunting extremists present to the future of wildlife conservation. She is invested in fighting America's culture war on hunters and hunting and works to shed light on anti-hunters’ blatant attempts to tout emotion and misinformation over scientific facts.
An NRA Endowment member, Karen worked in the NRA public relations arena prior to joining NRA Publications in 1998. She is the founding editor of two NRA official journals: America's 1st Freedom and Woman's Outlook. National writing awards include being named the 2015 Carl Zeiss Sports Optics Writer of the Year. She actively promotes women and families in the outdoors. She is also a member of the Washington metropolitan area's Fairfax Rod & Gun Club, a founding member of the Professional Outdoor Media Association, a member of Safari Club International and a Life member of the Dallas Safari Club and the Mule Deer Foundation.