Hunting to feed the hungry is a noble cause helping less fortunate families.
Here in the US, many states offer a Hunting for the Hungry program that gives hunters the ability to donate their deer to charity. Most of us avid hunters are out to hunt that elusive 14-point buck that weight 300 pounds we’ve been talking about for years. But by taking a different approach, and focusing on the food a harvested deer can provide, we’re making a distinctly ethical and respectable choice.
The Hunt for the Hungry program is a great opportunity for you this year to take out that second antler-less tag this year and have another great hunt to help those less fortunate. In Iowa, since the inception of the HUSH (Help us Stop Hunger) program, over 56,000 deer have been donated. That has added up to over 800,000 meals for the hungry.
Some states like Missouri, Wisconsin and Illinois also have special tags for deer hunted in known CWD (Chronic wasting Disease) Area,s and these deer are not accepted in the program.
Personally, this program has opened several new hunting spots up for our group, and may work for you if your old ground is getting worked hard. What we have done in the past is gone to farmers and land owners and told them that we are looking for new ground to provide deer donations for the HUSH program. Many of the landowners have a soft spot in their hearts for this program, and allow you to hunt the land. This usually means that nice buck for you and a doe for the hungry.
The programs all remain about the same throughout the US and require the deer to be shoot in season and tagged with your name, location and time. You will need to field dress the deer and then take it to a meat processor that participates in the program, and that’s typically all there is to it. The processor usually grinds the whole dear into 2-pound meat packages for the local food banks to hand out.
Because deer season falls so close to the holidays, this is such a great way to give to those less fortunate and help them in times of need. While these donation rarely last through the summer months, some states are also looking into adding other game to the donation lists.
I would love to hear your stories or comments on your participation in these programs, and share this story with friends and family to help make these programs even more successful in the future.