It’s one beast of a feast

June 27th, 2015 1:37 am

First Posted: 3/12/2013

A crowd of nearly 75 people heard stories of “The Ol’ Jersey Mossy Horn” and “Tyler’s African ‘Dagwe’” as noted sportsman and hunter Brent Haggerty weaved stories of successful hunts with scripture passages when he presented “Lessons Learned from the Tree Stand.”

Haggerty spoke at the annual “Beast Feast” Sportsmen’s Dinner hosted last week by the Men’s Ministry of the Christian and Missionary Alliance Church, West Pittston.

A pastor at Stone Crest Community Church in New Jersey, Haggerty is an accomplished hunter who has traveled the United States, Canada and Africa for his hunts.

Haggerty has hunted in numerous states, including Alaska, Maine, Ohio and New Jersey, harvesting 12 deer last year.

While he prefers to hunt with a bow, he also hunts with a rifle, especially during his time in Africa. As a missionary in Africa, Haggerty hunted antelope and monkey to help provide food for villagers who did not have the means to hunt themselves.

Haggerty presented six hunting stories to his audience. His message tied his hunting stories to life lessons, such as the story of “Richey - the Zainesville Drop Tine.” This hunt, during a trip to Ohio, of a nine-point deer with a 22-inch spread and one dropped tine, was a lesson in “patience allows good things to come our way.”

“Life is short: do the most important things first” was taught through the story of the Malian Flintlock hunt.

This is the 10th year for the “Beast Feast,” according to Pastor Don Stoope.

He said the Men’s Ministry was looking to hold a different fundraiser/community event and, since there are so many hunters in the congregation, the Beast Feast was a perfect fit.

Congregation members Larry Christian, Joe Matoloni, George Weis and Joe Emelett, among others, donated the venison and fish for the dinner.

Even co-coordinator Mark Manganaro, a cook at Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center, cooked the meal which featured venison stir fry, venison frank and beans, venison stew, perch and venison kielbasa. Brian Shaffer, one of the event coordinators, says the event has grown every year with people coming from all over the Greater Pittston Area.

Diane Marek, of Plains, attended the event for the first time this year. She used to hunt with her father, but has not hunted in years. This event gave her chance to eat venison dishes which, she admitted, was a real treat.

Nancy Poremba, of West Pittston, agreed. She doesn’t have the chance to eat venison as often as she used to, always enjoying lasagna made with venison. Both women agreed they were looking forward to having venison kielbasa and sampling Manganaro’s venison recipes at the dinner.

After narrowly being spared in the 2011 flooding, Stoope said the congregation “is trying to help out in the community.”