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Food for thought as Antioch Lions’ event nears

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Updated: November 28, 2012 6:04AM

It’s time for the Antioch Lions Club’s biannual Bill Brook Memorial Wild Game Dinner and Live Auction.

This year, it will be at Maravela’s Banquets in Fox Lake on Wednesday, Nov. 14.

“This goes back over 50 years,” said Dan Dugenske, who has been a long-time organizer of the event. “It started at Patty’s Lounge with a bunch of old hunters and we’d hire a chef,” he said.

In the past, they provided their own game. One year they were preparing muskrat a few days before and my father, Dr. Ed Abderholden, came through the doors with his surgical gloves on and everything, which made everyone laugh.

“It was all in fun and it still is,” said Dugenske.

I’ve been going with my brothers for many years and it is always a fun time. There will be venison, pheasant, duck, elk, and a surprise or two. It was at such a dinner that I first ate possum and I swore then I would rather starve.

The auction can get a little overheated, such as the time that Bob Diemer provided an ostrich for the buffet and he ended up selling the leg to my brother Guy. That’s a longer story than I have space for here.

It’s named for Brooks because he started it and it eventually became a good fund-raiser for the Lions Club. Brooks liked to hunt and his family tree had market hunters in it who would start in Minnesota, go through the Chain O’ Lakes and then head down to Tennessee to prepare the ducks, put them on ice and then ship them to the city on the railroad.

He really liked duck hunting, “He used to say he could go from bed to blind in 10 minutes,” said his daughter, Ainsley Brook Wonderling, who hunted pheasant, dove and raccoon with her father. “He’d call these guys from Zion who had coon-hunting dogs named Queenie and Blue. They brought applejack with them and that was interesting,” she said of the homemade brew. Why did she never go duck hunting?

“It was too early in the morning,” she said with a laugh. Brooks loved to fish and owned a number of hunting dogs. He and a group of other hunters bought the Red Wing Slough on the east side of Antioch that was eventually donated to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources with some stipulations that still allows duck hunting and there is only limited human access.

The cost of the dinner is $35 per person or a table of 10 for $400 that is reserved seating. There will be raffles and guns for auction, along with wildlife prints and other interesting items. The money goes to the Lions Club for all the good work that club accomplishes throughout the year. Call Jack Miller at (847) 838-2911 or you can buy tickets at the State Bank of the Lakes, Piggly Wiggly, or the Antioch village hall.

Predator alert!

Coyotes, wolves and no bears, Oh My!

Big predators are making a comeback and Conserve Lake County and Friends of Ryerson Woods are bringing two experts on wolves and coyotes to Lake County for a program on Thursday, Nov. 8 at the Greenbelt Cultural Center (Green Bay Road between Waukegan and North Chicago).

Cost is $15 — $5 for students. Members of Conserve Lake County (formerly known as Liberty Prairie Conservancy), Friends of Ryerson Woods, Lake Forest Open Lands and Wild Ones pay $10 for the talk.

Coyote expert Stan Gehrt of the University of Ohio is back again with his study of urban coyotes that has uncovered a number of interesting facts about coyotes, such as the fact they steal goose eggs. He has a hilarious film clip where they set up a dummy goose egg on a string and a coyote tried and tried again to take that egg and run.

He also learned that the animals mate for life.

Wolf expert Adrian Wydeven from the Wisconsin Department of Natural resources will talk about wolves. Wisconsin is having its first wolf-hunting season this year. They also have bears that are supposedly moving down the Fox River, but that is for another day.

“Explore the hidden world of these fascinating predators and what their presence in our region means for people,” reads the announcement. Last time Gehrt came to Grayslake a few years ago, over 200 people showed up.

Capacity is limited so register in advance by going to or by calling (847) 548-5989, ext. 33. The Lake County Forest Preserve is a partner in the presentation.

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