The Most Overlooked Wild Game Dinner Strategy

The Most Overlooked Wild Game Dinner Strategy

An effective wild game dinner is a staple among churches that want to reach hunters and build their outdoor ministry awareness in the community. Operate a wild game dinner the right way, and you can build a tradition that last for decades. Do it wrong, and you’ll find yourself scratching your head in year 4 wondering why attendance has declined every year since the launch.

Given that I speak at wild game dinner across the country, I get to see a ton of various methods that churches and outdoor ministry groups employ to reach hunters. One of the biggest concerns I hear from them is in terms of how a church can promote next year’s event.

I’ve spoken at events where churches have used flyers, radio ads, posters, even television commercials to promote the event. While those can be great strategies within the community, let me share with you one way this is almost always overlooked in terms of outdoor ministry and reaching hunters for upcoming events: email.

No, email isn’t trendy. No, email isn’t as cool as a Twitter campaign.

Yes, email is by far more effective than anything else you have at your disposal in terms of growing your outdoor ministry.

Wild Game Dinner Response & Email Blasts

You’ve won the toughest battle if you have the email of someone who has already attended your wild game dinner. They know about you! They’ve already established a surface level friendship with you, so use that.

What I cannot understand for the life of me is that virtually 85% of the time when I arrive at a wild game dinner, the hosting church has put no thought into next year’s promotion. It’s not like it’s rocket science. Find a way to get the email addresses of the hunters attending your outdoor ministry event.

Email, Wild Game Dinner Strategies, and What Not To Do

Make a promise that you won’t clog their inbox. Only contact them when it’s worth it to do so.

Keep your emails to wild game dinner attendees short and to the point.

Create a response card at this year’s event that is short. Name, phone, email, and if a decision for Christ was made. That’s all you need. There’s nothing worse than filling out what feels like a survey at the end of a dinner.

Build a landing page on your church or outdoor ministry website where they can click a link and see your wild game dinner home page that is frequently updated with info, buttons to make reservations, and so forth.

In 15 years of outdoor ministry I have yet to see anything as powerful as email in promoting next year’s wild game dinner. All you have to do is make it a priority to get their email addresses and you’re on your way.

Think Beyond The Wild Game Dinner And You'll Win Again. 

​If I were leading an outdoor ministry today, I'd have all of my men on the lookout 24/7 for email addresses of hunters. All they have to do is text you, the leader, every time they gather an email address. It's building a ministry one person at a time. And it's local! These are people you can actually reach because they are in your target community. 

Remember . . . it's not an email address. It's a person, a hunter, a man who leads a family, a soul in need of a Savior. Think of it that way, and you'll change the way you think about gathering email. 

Jason Cruise is a published author and speaker.
He's the host of Spring Chronicles with Sportsman Channel.

Twitter: @JasonLCruise


Have you seen Jason's video on how to secure a speaker for your wild game dinner? 


  1. Jason,

    In your experience what have you found to be the best way or ways to approach a person who has just accepted Jesus at a Wild Game Dinner shortly after the guest speaker shared the Gospel? Should we invite them to meet us immediately or after the event? What are some good ideas that you’ve seen other churches do? What do you believe are the best ways to follow up with those people who made decisions…A phone call, visit, etc.?
    I’m looking forward to your response.

    In His Service,

    Pastor Bob

    • Hey Bob … I have seen it best work out when you meet with a new believer by responding to their commitment card with a phone call. Nothing intense, just call them and follow up. Yet I would have an idea in mind; like trying to get lunch with that person very soon, or do something, anything that you can do to get into their lives just a little bit on the front end.

      Here’s a link to answer your question about ideas for “follow up” at large:


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