View Full Version : OH: Hunters double venison donations

Bob S
04-01-2009, 04:45 PM
ARTICLE (http://www.dispatch.com/live/content/local_news/stories/2009/04/01/morevenison.html?)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

By Mary Beth Lane
The Columbus Dispatch

Ohio deer hunters in the 2008-09 season more than doubled the amount of donated venison to help feed the hungry compared to what they donated in previous year's season, state officials said this week.

Hunters have donated more than 54,800 pounds of deer meat to local food banks statewide, enough to have fed about 219,200 meals to Ohioans in need. That compares with 20,902 pounds of venison that hunters donated in the previous year, officials at the Ohio Department of Natural Resources' Division of Wildlife said in a news release.

Donations of deer meat increased because for the first time, the state paid a $100,000 subsidy to Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry, a national organization with chapters and butchers across Ohio. Local chapters had to match the subsidy dollar for dollar.

The money paid 43 participating butchers to process and package the deer meat for distribution to food banks.

Hunters always could donate venison to food banks, and some did. But state wildlife officials figured hunters would be likelier to donate the surplus deer they bagged if they didn't have to pay the $75 that butchers charge to process an average deer.

Wildlife officials also wanted to encourage hunters to kill more does as part of an effort to thin the deer herd.

Hunters donated 1,096 deer in the most recent season, compared with 418 deer in the previous season.

The Division of Wildlife plans to repeat the partnership with Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry in the next deer-hunting season, division Assistant Chief Jim Marshall said.