Outdoors: Share your harvest this season

A hunter can gift as many as 200 meals at a local food pantry with a donated deer

PRATT –- A mature white-tailed deer, even field dressed, can often outweigh the very hunter lucky enough to make the harvest. Combine that with generous permit allocations in some areas of the state, and some hunters may find they are quickly filling their freezers with venison. It’s meat that was obtained with hard work, time and perseverance, so it’s no surprise that hunters hold their harvests dear. But it’s this very reason that hunters should consider sharing such a meaningful meal with others this season.

Venison is a lean and healthy protein that most food pantries wouldn’t be able to offer their customers if it weren’t for organizations like Kansas Hunters Feeding the Hungry. KSHFH is a nonprofit organization that is the conduit for generous hunters to donate deer and provide food for thousands of hungry Kansans. Last year alone, hunters donated 991 deer and 18 elk, providing 245,000 meals across the state.

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Donated deer meat provides nutritious meals.

If you harvest a big game animal this season, consider sharing your harvest with fellow Kansans in need. Hunters can donate any legally-harvested deer, antelope, elk or moose to one of the more than 40 participating meat processors around the state, which can be found at  www.kshfh.org/lockers. It’s always a good idea to call ahead before taking a deer to a processor, but walk-ins are usually welcome. There is no cost to donate your deer as long as the KSHFH organization has sufficient funding to cover the processing expense. Donated game must be field dressed and legally tagged.

If you would like to help, but would prefer to keep your meat, consider making a money donation to KSHFH by texting “DEER” to 91011. A reply text will then ask for credit card information, including the donation amount. The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism also makes supporting this program easy. When hunters buy licenses, permits, or stamps, they can donate $2 to fund the program, which the agency collects for KSHFH. Donations can also be made by check; mail to KSHFH at 17811 Donahoo Rd., Tonganoxie, KS 66086.

For more information on how to help, visit www.kshfh.org.

Information thanks to Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism.


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