MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Sports

August 15, 2013

COLUMN: Beast Feast provides a beastly time

From its infancy to this year’s sixth annual event, the Beast Feast, hosted by Boom Outdoors, continues to grow and to inspire men and boys to bond with each other, the outdoors and God. It is refreshing in this day and time, to see an emphasis put on families and men as the leaders of these families.

“It was a success in so many ways. We had close to 1,200 men and boys present, which is our best attendance to date,” said Tim Salters, pastor of New Community Church. “ A lot of guys walked away with door prizes and give-aways. It was really cool to see  the little boy who won the grand prize choose a Lifetime Hunting and Fishing license plus $225 gift certificate. That will be the gift that keeps on giving.”

The Grand Prize winner was Landyn Johnson of Muskogee.

 Winners of the father-son hunt were Tim and 8-year-old Ben Berres of Fort Gibson. Tim teaches algebra and calculus at Fort Gibson High School and is also the men’s ministry director at Calvary Faith Church.

 Berres also related to me that he had brought somewhere in the neighborhood of 15 men with him from his church. Berres and his son will be hunting hogs together on the Shiloh Ranch near Ada next summer.

Stan Potts, an outdoor TV personality, was the speaker.

“It was an honor to have Stan Potts as our guest speaker. We thought he did a great job not only entertaining the crowd with some big buck stories but also touching on what matters most, which is being right with the Lord. Stan was blown away by the event and was truly excited he was able to be a part of it.”

 “We really appreciated all the donations we received from local businesses. We could not do the event without them. And of course our Boom Team, a group of guys from New Community Church, worked really hard to put the event together. It is really a labor of love for these guys and they sacrifice a lot of time and energy.”

This year’s event was extra meaningful for me as my son was able to attend and a good friend of mine received special recognition. Local archer and outdoorsman Dan Chaffin was the recipient of the David Reifsteck Award. It’s named for the late Muskogee dentist, Dr. David Reifsteck, an avid hunter and fisherman. It was the second year for this prestigious award which is given to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to furthering outdoor pursuits.

“It’s ever so humbling to receive an award for doing something that has brought so much enjoyment to me over the years. There’s nothing more exciting than seeing a young man or adult shoot their first deer, whether it be a buck or doe,” said Chaffin.

“I have made so many life-long friendships taking folks hunting and this year, after having a near-death experience, it makes me appreciate those friendships even more.”

Chaffin said he had a lung infection and was on life-support for 31 days.

“The encouragement from my fellow hunting buddies who prayed for me daily while I was in ICU was so inspiring. I’m truly lucky to be able to have a good place to hunt and be able to share this with others. The outdoors is always better when shared with a fellow friend,” he said.

Salters said Boom Outdoors is already working on next year’s event, including a way to alleviate the cramped conditions in the hallways where vendors are set up.

“We are trying to make it bigger and better… for God’s glory,” Salters said.

John Kilgore’s outdoor column runs Fridays in the Phoenix. You may contact him with news or other information at (918) 348-9431 or at jkilgoreoutdoors@yahoo.com.

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