I just ran across a great bit of  news that seems just perfect for the Christmas season.  The Ohio DNR has recently reported that hunters in the Buckeye State have donated  almost 100,000 pounds of venison to needy families! This really speaks volumes to the generosity and compassion of hunters across this great nation of ours. I applaud every hunter who has the opportunity to donate venison to different organizations, as this is a great way for outdoorsmen to give back to the community, help those that are less fortunate, and as a byproduct, improve the image of hunters to the rest of the world. Keep up the good work and continue spreading generosity and christmas cheer as we ring in the New Year!

From the Ohio DNR Press Release:

Columbus OH -Ohio deer hunters have donated more than 95,500 pounds of venison to local food banks so far this deer season, according to Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife.

The 95,500 pounds equals approximately 382,000 meals for needy Ohioans. To date, 1,910 deer have been donated with plenty of deer hunting opportunity left in the 2009-10 season. Last year at this time, 671 deer had been donated representing 33,550 pounds of venison.

Last year FHFH collected 54,800 pounds of venison from 1,096 deer through the entire season, from September 2008 to February 1, 2009….

…The Division of Wildlife collaborated with Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry (FHFH) in an effort to assist with the processing costs associated with donating venison to a food bank. A $100,000 subsidy grant was provided in two $50,000 allotments that are to be matched with funds generated or collected by FHFH. The division subsidized this year’s FHFH operation as an additional deer management tool, helping wildlife managers encourage hunters to kill more does.

Venison donated to food banks must be processed by a federal, state or locally inspected and insured meat processor that is participating with FHFH. Hunters wishing to donate their deer to a food bank are not required to pay for the processing of the venison as long as the program has funds available to cover the cost. There are presently 65 participating meat processors across the state. A list is provided at www.fhfh.org.

Currently there are 33 local chapters across the state with a need for more. Anyone interested in becoming a local program coordinator or a participating meat processor should visit the “Local FHFH” page at www.fhfh.org. The Web page includes a current list of coordinators, program names and the counties they serve.

Link to original Ohio DNR News Release

Check out this video from FHFH, giving a little bit more info about why hunter’s donations are needed and how we can help…