Union Rescue Mission serves 250 pounds of wild meat tacos

About 250 pounds of wild game donated to the Union Rescue Mission by the Sportsman Channel as part of its national "Hunt. Fish. Feed." initiative was served to the down-and-out who rely on the shelter to get by, it was reported today.

Monday night's menu included tacos made from elk, deer, sheep, wild pig, black bear and antelope, the Los Angeles Times reported. For fish lovers, there were yellow tail, tilapia and tuna tacos.

Most diners were unfazed by the rustic fare.

"All right, give me some of the wild stuff," Tommy Harris said when he learned his ground-meat taco was partly made of bear. "I want to go to the wild side."

Ralph Johnson, 48, picked up a dripping taco and took a bite.

"It tastes... just like tacos," he said.

The Union Rescue Mission relies heavily on donations and corporate partnerships to feed about 3,500 people each day. The shelter's director, Andy Bales, said one night he got a call offering a load of 8,000 pounds of chicken; the truck driver had missed a delivery deadline.

"We ate chicken for many days," Bales said. "Baked and fried and chicken soup."

Eric Welsh, who helped solicit donations on his website, DIYBowhunter.com, said he picked up most of the donations himself, crisscrossing California and Arizona in his 1996 Tacoma pickup.

He hoped the event would change people's perceptions of hunters

"We don't just mow a whole bunch of animals down and then drink 20 beers on the way home," he said. Hunters, he said, care about animals and don't want any meat to go to waste.

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