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Missouri Hunters Are Helping to Feed Less Fortunate Families

Missouri hunters are using the over-population of deer in the state to help less fortunate families get through the holidays.KSMU’s Jamie Givens reports.

Most people go to grocery stores or butcher shops to select their holiday meat, yet some still prefer to find their dinner the old-fashioned way: with a rifle and a lot of patience.

Many Missouri hunters, this holiday season, will be putting food on more than just their own family’s table.

Through the “Share the Harvest” program, deer hunters have the ability to donate any amount of their kill that they choose, from as little as one pound up to an entire deer.

Larry Whiteley is the public relations manager for Bass Pro Shops, one of the main sponsors of “Share the Harvest.”

The process for donating the meat is simple. In Greene County, there are two certified processing plants that hunters can take their meat to: J & L Custom Processing in Walnut Grove and Turner Meat Processing in Fair Grove.

After the meat is donated, it’s processed into ground venison and put into packages.

Once processed, Bass Pro Shops picks up the meat and delivers it to the distributing company, which then gives it out to those families in need.

Whiteley says not only are hunters helping to feed the less fortunate, they’re also helping to control Missouri’s over-population of deer.

Hunters are required to pay for the processing of their meat. However, those who donate a full deer are reimbursed $35 by the Conservation Federation of Missouri.

Bow-hunting deer season is already underway and runs through November 14th. Deer season for firearms runs from November 15th to November 25th.

In 2007, Missouri hunters donated more than 260,000 pounds of meat.

For KSMU News, I’m Jamie Givens.