Shooting Deer for the Homeless

Discussion in 'General Global Topics' started by Shogun, Nov 20, 2007.

  1. Shogun
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    Hunting may seem a cruel and heartless activity to animal-rights activists and many Americans. But hunters are trying to show they can be compassionate people too. A growing number of American hunters are donating part of their bounty each year to people who need it most, the poor and the homeless, through nationwide campaigns like Hunters for the Hungry, which delivers game meat to local food banks and shelters. In Georgia, where the group was founded 15 years ago, more than 1,000 hunters delivered 5,000 pounds of meat in 2006, making 25,000 meals. Nationwide, the group is on track to deliver its one-millionth meal in December. "It's really vital now because it's the holiday season, and there's more need during the fall and winter," says Glenn Dowling, executive vice president of the Georgia Wildlife Federation. "Now is when this influx of high-quality protein needs to come into play in the food banks."

    Hunters for the Hungry and other programs like it operate in nearly every U.S. state; in the past year, total pounds of food donated increased 30%. Rick Wilson founded his Maryland-based ministry, Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry (FHFH), 10 years ago while on a hunting trip in Virginia, soon after he witnessed a poverty-stricken woman collecting road-kill in the woods. After soliciting tens of thousands of dollars in donations, Wilson and volunteers began providing what Wilson calls "God-given resources" to the homeless. The organization has since branched out to 26 states, with more than 100 chapters. "We see ourselves not as a hunting organization, but as a feeding ministry," says Wilson, who is now FHFH's executive director.

    Supporters of such campaigns say their benefits go beyond feeding the needy. In Georgia, which has one of the largest populations of deer in the southeast, hunters say their pastime doubles as an ecological good, by thinning out overcrowded forests. Victor DeVine, a hunter all his life, volunteered with Hunters for the Hungry last year at Georgia's Fort Yargo state park, where he says deer overpopulation had become unmanageable. "It was the first time the park was hunted in 50 years," he says. "It was even affecting other critters because the deer were taking too much food."

    But to animal rights activists, feeding the hungry with animals killed for sport is not a justifiable end. The Humane Society of the United States says that most hunters are pursuing a recreational activity whose purpose is not food gathering. "Rather than spending money on a recreational pursuit and donating the byproducts, spending that money on other types of charitable programs or food for the hungry would be a great alternative," says Michael Markarian, executive vice president of the Humane Society. "If hunters are donating the spoils, [feeding the hungry] is really a secondary issue." Markarian says there are also non-lethal ways to avoid conflicts between deer and human populations, like installing reflectors to prevent roadside collisions.

    Another concern with donated game meat, the Humane Society says, is the risk to human health. Unlike farm-raised meat, which undergoes a federal government–controlled inspection process before it can be sold, meat from wild animals may end up on a plate with little regulation — increasing the risk of contamination. "Because goose and deer and other suburban animals feed on lawns and flowers that are treated with pesticides, meat from those animals could be unfit for human consumption," Markarian says.

    Still, hunters' donations remain constant staples at shelters and food banks. In Georgia, for example, thanks in part to the state's generous bag limit of 12 deer per year, venison steaks (not to mention venison burgers, lasagna and chili), are not only abundant, but well liked. "It's very popular and it's very similar to beef," says Sarah Robertson, who coordinates food donations at the Atlanta Community Food Bank, the state's largest food bank, which distributes to more than 800 shelters each year. "It's been a huge win-win for us."

    http://www.time.com/time/printout/0,8816,1683688,00.html


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  2. AllieBaba
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    AllieBaba BANNED

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    At my high school, the fish and wildlife, or fish and game...whichever, guys brought us the fresh road kill.

    We had more meat on our menu than any school in the state, I imagine. Possibly in the country. And we could have seconds.
     
  3. DiogenesDog
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    DiogenesDog Zen Bonobo

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    deer strikes are no longer given much newspaper space unless the driver is impaled[​IMG]on the antlers through the windshield.

    I am able to drive from my house to the stables where the horses are in about 20 minutes. In that 20 minutes, after 10pm or so, I am able to count up to 30 deer on the roadside or in the median.

    In the middle of the state, it is hozillas. The most common strike is a 600# boar, black as the bottom of a Russian horse doctors bag and in possession of some tusks that scare me and I am fearless. Along the line of lakes from Apopka to Okeechobee, the strike (mostly) a bump and launch is gator. On the Alligator Alley and the Tamiami Trail, the gators have been mixed with anaconda as road kill. There is plenty of meat to harvest from these resources. After the next depression, the Colonel Sanders of Gataconda is going to emerge and we will be deport the Laotians and Cambodians because they have already adapted them to their diet.

    It is movement season for our turtle populations. Yesterday, I moved a soft shell (cooter)[​IMG]out of the road to a pond to which she was headed. Today I saw another that had been run over by a car. Both were about 10 # and in the past such turtles have been eaten by humans.

    We also have 30 and 40# [​IMG] moving from pond to pond. They are quite edible. They are both, however, protected under fresh water fish laws. There are plenty of free range critters in our county and state that are edible. If times get tough, I know where to find them and how to prepare them for the table.

    The homeless people I know would know the slight sent their way by well meaning supporters of this who would not themselves partake of game meat.

    Think about it!

    I AM
     
  4. Adam's Apple
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    I don't think we have this program in our state, or at least not in the county where I live, so I say good for the hunters for making an over supply of deer fit a community need. I've volunteered at a local food pantry once a week for several years and have never seen deer meat in the freezer. Our clients have asked about this program, however, so evidently they know about it.

    Deer are plentiful here, and there are plently of people who could make use of deer meat. The pantry I volunteer at services over 20,000 families/individuals a year.
     
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  5. Shogun
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    I volunteer at a local pantry too and every deer season the meat locker actually gets pretty full.

    tis a good thing.
     
  6. PpleLOSINGpower
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    PpleLOSINGpower Rookie

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    Hunting is only cruel and heartless when there is no point intended except to make wall art. It's the people who actually take the meat, any excess being ground into hamburger, and feed their families who are actually hunting for the sport and cause.

    With that being said, my state also takes dear and elk, which have been hit by vehicles, and delivers the meat to the homeless shelters and missions. My buddy actually hit a herd of elk at around sixty MPH. The result; 6 dead elk and 1 totally demolished chevy pickup. The truck was hauled off to the junk yard while state fish and game hauled the Elk to the mission.

    I have not heard any news of hunters donating their meat in my state. However, this could be seen as a noble cause or just an efficient way for the true gamers (head stuffers) to still hunt their favorite game while being able to take their prize to the taxidermist and donate the meat to a worthy cause. Ultimately taking the pressure of the animal rights activists off their backs and maybe clearing their own conscience.

    However you take a stance at this issue, it's still a noble cause feeding the hungry...Brovo!
     

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