AWGF FAQs

Annual Wild Game Feed    Frequently Asked Questions

Rarely does a week go by without someone asking me some important question about the Annual Wild Game Feed in Irvine.  I’m always glad to provide answers as I can, but my time is heavily pressured with many projects, so I thought I would create a list of the most frequently asked questions along with my answers based on about twenty years of attending this event.

This list will not answer every question you may have, nor do I have the answers to every question you may have, but this is a start.  Also, you can always email me at fineleatherart@yahoo.com and I will do my best to get you pointed in the right direction.

David


How do I get a ticket?
This has always been a bit of a problem since you have to know someone who attends the Feed.  Tickets aren’t generally available to those who haven’t attended before, but everyone who has attended in the past is mailed a ticket order form.  Fortunately they accept copies of the order form to purchase the tickets.  If you will send me your email then I will send you an electronic copy of my form.  I will do this from the time I receive the form until July 1.  After that you’ll have to wait for next year.

When do the order forms arrive?
Usually about the last two weeks of May or the first two weeks of June.  I always panic if they are later than June 1, but the forms usually seem to arrive during this time frame.

How late can I wait to order my tickets?
You can’t wait.  The day you get your order form, order your tickets.  There are a limited number of tickets available each year and they sell out quickly.  Quickly!  Every year many men contact me looking for tickets after they sell out, but I can do nothing to help.  I can send you an order form, but nothing more.  (Think:  Sold out by the end of June.  Probably earlier.)

What if I lose my ticket?
I don’t have an answer for this one.  If you get a ticket don’t lose it and you won’t have a problem getting in (unless you forget to bring it).  Update: I found out the Gate Keepers have a master list of ticket purchasers just to cover this problem, but you must have your I.D. with you.

What do I bring?
The short answer is ‘yourself and your ticket.’  After that everything is optional.  I always bring a pop-up shelter, table, chairs, a mug for beer, cigars with cutter and lighter, hat, sunglasses, real knife fork and spoon (I hate plastic), dental floss and toothpicks, and a few other incidentals (t.p. because they always run out, bottle opener because someone always hands me a bottled beer, etc.).  Remember, everything you bring is something more to keep track of.  A checklist helps.

What if it rains?
If a little water worries you, then bring a towel.  The Feed goes on come rain or shine.

Do they run out of food?  I paid a lot for my ticket, and I want to know there is plenty to eat.
There is Way Too Much to eat.  Guaranteed.  They may run short on an appetizer or two, but they will not run out of food.  And just when you are stuffed to the point you can’t eat any more, dinner will be served. 

Is it really all you can drink Beer?
Yes.  Or soda, or water.  Beverage choice is up to you, but they will not run out.  Just drink responsibly.  As a side note, I’ve rarely witnessed anyone who’s consumed too much beer.  I’m sure it has happened, but everyone knows they have to drive home after it is over.

Why are the tickets so expensive?
You get what you pay for.  This is simply the biggest and best wild game feed I’ve ever attended.  As stated above, they don’t run out of food or beverage.  And the monies raised support a number of worthy charities. 

What do they serve?
The menu is never exactly the same from year to year, but during the years I’ve attended the menu has included buffalo ribs, quail, game hen, salmon, roasted pig, halibut, wild game chili, frog legs, calamari, Cajun gumbo, alligator, crawfish, game sausages, clams, and turkey nuts—that’s just appetizers.  Dinner has included elk, caribou, musk ox, antelope, venison, buffalo, boar, duck, pheasant, chucker, albacore, wahoo, sea bass, yellowtail, dorado, and ostrich.  That's not everything by any means.  There is always much more.  In case you are wondering, it’s all from commercial vendors.  California tightly regulates the sale and consumption of game meats, so nothing is hunted and brought to the Feed.

Anything else to do?
Oh, yeah!  There are raffle drawings for some unbelievable prizes.  Every year there are a few super prizes and a grand prize or two.  Big screen tv’s, motorcycles, trucks, cars, rifles, shotguns, champion breed puppy, fishing equipment, camping equipment, optics.  I don’t know what they will have from year to year, but there will be some great stuff, and a lot of it.  Bring a few extra dollars to buy in.  Also, there are exhibits and games worthy of any outdoorsman.

Can I buy raffle tickets ahead of time?
The earliest time to purchase the raffle tickets is the morning of the event while waiting in line (a good reason to get there early).  General raffle tickets and special raffle tickets will be available from AWGF member ticket sellers throughout the day.

Where is it?
Lake View Park at Irvine Lake.  A map is on your order form.

When is it?
The Annual Wild Game Feed is the 3rd Friday in September each year.  The gates are open from 12 noon to 7pm, but I always arrive early to be near the front of the queue.  I used to show up about 10am and be first in line, but now I show up about 7 to 8am and expect to be a bit farther back in line.  Some people show up about 1pm and are able to walk right in, but they have to park a long distance away.  I like being early.

Can I buy cigars there?
I get this a lot.  Yes.  Cigars are always available at a special table and at good prices, but I always bring my own plus a few extras to trade around.

Can I bring my wife/girlfriend?
This is a stag event.  Men only.  21 years old and over.  No exceptions.

Can I bring my dog?
I wish.  But please don’t bring your dog.  This is not a dog park.

Can I bring my Rifles/Guns?
 NO!!!  

Is there a place to sit down and eat?
There is a covered patio area with picnic tables.  It fills up fast, so I recommend bringing at least a chair.  A table and shelter are also nice, but many opt for just a chair.  A few even sit on the ground, but the next year they bring a chair.

Where can I meet you?
I don’t really understand why people want to meet me, but then again I want to meet you, so I guess it’s the same thing.  I always set up my shelter very close to (usually right behind) the entry booth.  If I’m not there, I’m usually nearby, or getting something to eat, so make yourself at home, and I’ll be back soon.  Most people recognize me on sight even if we’ve never met.  I have a long white beard and long white hair.  I’m very reminiscent of Santa Claus in my appearance. 

What if I don’t know anyone there?
Believe me, this is not a problem.  First of all, you know me.  But friends are easy to make.  It doesn’t matter who you are or what you are, at the Feed, everyone is equal and a friend.  I used to go to this all by myself, but I never ate or drank alone unless I chose to do so.

Can I get a refund if I can’t attend?
I don’t believe refunds are given; however, there is usually no problem finding someone who will want to buy your ticket from you.  Please, no scalping.

Can I bring my own beer and cigars?
Many people bring their own pleasures.  I am partial to cider and usually bring some with me.  Of course, this means bringing an ice chest (more stuff to haul around), but I also use the ice chest to pack up some food to bring home.  I mentioned above I bring my own cigars.  The price for cigars at the Feed is very reasonable, but I bring my own anyway.

Is there camping available?
Not at the Feed itself, but I’m told there is a campground nearby at Irvine Lake.  I’ve never verified this, so do your homework on the area.

Can I bring my R.V. and camp overnight?
You cannot camp (tent or R.V.) overnight at the Feed, but you can bring your R.V.  Just remember, parking can be cramped and an R.V. might be a difficult thing to maneuver.

Does anyone carpool?  Can I get there by bus?  Can I take a taxi there?
A large number of guys share a ride.  Several even have their wives drop them off and pick them up later (the same as having a designated driver).  I’ve even known some guys who hired a limo and paid for the driver to attend (but he wasn’t allowed to drink—again it’s the designated driver thing).  I’ve never noticed a taxi drop off anyone, but I see no reason it wouldn’t work.  The bus thing may be a problem.  You would need to check the bus routes and schedules in the area, but even so, there would be a hike involved from the main highway to the park.

How early can I get there?
At least wait until the sun is up.  You cannot spend the night there, but nothing says you can’t arrive very early.  Many guys make a party out of waiting in line.

What time does it start?
The gates open at 12 noon.  The gate crew does everything they can to have everyone inside and eating in about 30 minutes or so.

What should I wear?
I don’t know of any clothing rules, but please wear some.  Remember, 1) it could be hot, 2) it could be cold, 3) it could be cloudy, 4) it could be rainy, 5) it could be windy, 6) it could be bright sunshine, and that’s all on the same day.  I wear jeans, long-sleeved outdoorsman’s shirt, shoes, hat, and sunglasses.  Some wear shorts and t-shirts, I’ve even seen mountain man furs.  My opinion is one should dress in removable layers with a light jacket or windbreaker in reserve.  Mostly, dress comfortably, and expect to add a layer or two of beer, barbeque sauce, or some other food dribble.  And don’t forget the sunscreen.

If I need to leave, can I come back in?
Why would you want to leave?  I cannot even begin to comprehend this.  But if you must leave, there is no problem with re-entry as long as you are still wearing your wristband.  It is put on you as proof you purchased a ticket, and it should not be removed until the event is over.

What if a friend wants to come along at the last minute?
This is always a tough one.  No tickets are sold at the gate; however, sometimes a person will have an extra ticket for sale from a friend who couldn’t make it at the last minute.  And sometimes they don’t have one.  I’ve seen extras available on Craig’s list and a couple of other bulletin boards, but these are not to be counted on.  The best thing is for that person to buy a ticket when the forms come out.  Next best thing is to scour the internet for one.  Or I’ve seen people score a ticket at the Feed itself from someone in line with an extra.  Good luck.  If you don’t get a ticket when they are first made available, it’s almost impossible to find one.

Where does all the money go?
I’m not privy to the financial details of the AWGF, but they do make some things public knowledge.  They (the AWGF) tell us up front on the ticket order form some of the charities receiving help from the organization.  I’m sure this is carefully monitored.  The AWGF is a Not for Profit corporation, and as such must report their charitable contributions as well as all sources of income.  Logic also dictates where some of the money goes.  They rent the park for the event.  Insurance, licenses, equipment, and food must all be paid for ahead of time.  This is a very simplified expense list, but don’t forget, this is also an organization of volunteers donating their time, energy, and resources in order to maximize the funds given to many worthy causes.  

Are you going to bring Quail Eggs again this year?
It’s always my desire and pleasure to bring a few jars of pickled quail eggs; however, I believe those days are over.  My health has been in decline for a number of years, and I no longer have the strength or stamina it takes to perform the task of preparing, flavoring, and pickling the eggs.  Sorry.  I wish I could have better news about this.  If anyone wants to give it a try (and absorb the costs involved), I’ll be happy to show them how it’s done.


If you still have a question just write to me.  My email address is listed near the top of the page.

See you at the Feed

David


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