The town of Avon Lake in Ohio has made the most of its deer-culling efforts by donating venison to Second Harvest Food Bank.
The city began deer-culling efforts in March 2015. The deer were quickly becoming a safety hazard for Avon Lake, and since then, the town has donated almost 1,800 pounds of venison to the food bank.
“It’s a nice addition to the other products we have,” Second Harvest executive director Julie Chase-Morefield says. “Venison is high protein and low fat, and any time we get it in here, it is distributed very quickly.”
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources granted Avon Lake 80 deer tags to cull deer through February. Sharpshooters hired by the U.S. Department of Agriculture are harvesting the deer at locations around the city. Earlier efforts to garner public participation in reducing the deer population were ineffective.
The initial deer cull in early 2015 netted 19 deer and 652 pounds of venison for Second Harvest. The most recent donation of 1,140 pounds of meat came from 40 deer taken in late 2015 into 2016.
A meat processor from Litchfield goes to Avon Lake when deer are harvest and field dresses the deer. The carcasses are transported to the processing facility and turned into ground meat, which is picked up by Second Harvest.