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OUTDOOR TALES: Venison donations help hungry

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Outdoor Tales

By Phil Junker

People who hunt deer are enthusiastic about their sport, and most love to eat venison, but if not there are a number of places to put the tasty, healthy meat to good use. There are people who want it, and those who need it.

Taking an extra deer really is a good thing. It helps manage the continued growth of the deer herd, and it also can help those in need of food.

Kentucky’s modern gun deer season opened last Saturday and continues through Nov. 27 in zones 1 and 2, and through Nov. 31 in zones 3 and 4. The second part of muzzleloader season runs Dec. 10-18, and archery season goes through Jan. 16.

Statistics indicate that Kentucky ranks high for its number of hungry children. The average age of a hungry person in Kentucky is 8 years old. Protein is a proven ingredient in brain development and early learning potential. Kentucky’s hungry kids need the help of hunters. 

An organization helping provide venison for those who need it is called Kentucky Hunter for the Hungry. 

KHFH is a non-profit, volunteer-run organization comprised of responsible hunters and conservationists who encourage hunters to harvest and donate an additional deer each season. Statewide donations are processed by KHFH-affiliated processors and venison is distributed to homeless shelters and food banks throughout Kentucky.

• If you wish to donate a deer, take it to one of the cooperating processors. Deer must be telechecked and tagged before donating. 

• All money for processing is provided by donated funds. 

• Processors may be too swamped to receive your deer during gun season, so you may want to call your processor in advance to make sure they will accept your deer. 

• KHFH pays the processor an agreed fee to process each deer. As long as funds are available, the hunter will not be required to pay any part of the processing fee. 

• Off-peak seasons like archery and muzzleloading seasons are the best times to donate. 

• Processors cannot accept deer that have not been cleanly field-dressed, well cared for and not in good condition. 

• Processors are vital to the program. Be sure to show them your gratitude. 

• Donations to the program, in the form of checks, can be mailed to Kentucky Hunters for the Hungry, c/o Ivan Schell, 2400 PNC Plaza, Louisville, KY 40202, or you can make a donation to Kentucky Hunters for the Hungry through the county clerk’s office when you renew your vehicle registration each year. 

 

Testimonial

Dennis Daniels, a friend, deer hunter and column reader, e-mailed a testimonial following a recent column related to deer stand safety.

“I’m one of the injured hunters with fell out of my stand in 1998, and still today feel the fall injuries. I am now a preacher on safety harnesses for sure. I will not use my stand without one now. We have had four hunters die so far this year.”

Dennis lives in Michigan and has already taken a deer from his tree stand this fall.

 

Local license buy

As state game agencies around the country employ the Internet to make hunting and fishing licenses easier for sportsmen to buy and information on sporting regulations simpler to obtain, the traditional route of purchasing a license at a local retailer before heading outdoors remains a popular option. Research conducted by HunterSurvey.com and AnglerSurvey.com found that 58 percent of those hunters surveyed still purchase their licenses through a retailer, while 61 percent of surveyed anglers bought theirs at a local store as well. 

Retailers often count on their role as a sporting license vendor to lead to additional sales of hunting- and fishing-related equipment when consumers visit to buy a permit.

 

Contact outdoors writer Phil Junker by e-mail at outdoorscribe@yahoo.com or check out his blog at outdoorscribe.blogspot.com.