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Christian Deer Hunter president speaks at Critter Cookin' Contest

The Rev. Tom Rakow gets his dog Lost Arrow to count on cue.1 / 2
Photos by Rachelle Klemme The Rev. Tom Rakow and organizer Ron Malone show Dish No. 3, wild walleye omelet, at the Critter Cookin' Contest.2 / 2

On March 23, the same Friday that moviegoers were lining up for the latest blockbuster, a different kind of hunger game was on during the 7th annual Critter Cookin' Contest at the Wadena Evangelical Church.

Brad Cottrell of Verndale won this year's contest with barbecued pulled venison. The judges also tried venison wild rice hotdish, wild walleye omelet, canned venison, wild turkey sandwich spread and other game dishes. People packing the church fellowship hall got to sample the dishes as well.

The Rev. Tom Rakow, president of the Christian Deer Hunters' Association as well as a full-time pastor from Silver Lake, Minn., was this year's speaker, telling hunting stories with a spiritual point.

Rakow's dog, Lost Arrow, was part of the presentation. Lost Arrow a.k.a. "Hunter" is trained to count, play piano and re-enact the "Lost Sheep" story from the Bible. The "sheep" in this case is a small stuffed animal. Lost Arrow finds it and carries it to the top of a ladder.

According to the website, the Christian Deer Hunters Association promotes Christian hunters sharing their faith with other hunters, respecting the authority of the DNR and other officials, proper treatment of game after it has been harvested, continuing to attend church during hunting season and using time on the field for prayer, Bible reading and other practices.

They also distribute a booklet "Devotions For Deer Hunters."