Maybe you are successful on the hunt but are in a household that doesn't care for wild game.
Perhaps you just want to help out some folks who are less fortunate than you.
Arkansas Hunters Feeding the Hungry is ready for such hunters.
With the statewide deer limit raised to six this year, more deer than ever potentially could be taken. There may well be deer meat left over, and this is where Arkansas Hunters Feeding the Hungry comes in.
Nearly 2 million meals have been provided to people in the state thanks to AHFH.
Deer meat is good, healthy meat. For uniformity, all the meat handled through Hunters Feeding the Hungry is ground. This way, any cook will know how to prepare it. Although burgers made from deer can be a bit crumbly without adding breadcrumbs or fat, it's perfect for spaghetti, casseroles, chili and other dishes. Ground deer is as adaptable as ground beef and is better nutritionally.
The Hunters Feeding the Hungry system is simple. A hunter who has all the deer he or she wants takes a carcass to a participating processor. A donation of money toward the costs of the preparation is suggested, but this is not required. The deer is processed into packages of ground meat then given to food banks and charitable distributors in the state. From there it goes to those in need.
An alternative is that hunters can just donate a few packages of ground meat when they pick up their processed deer.
Ronnie Ritter, who heads Arkansas Hunters Feeding the Hungry, said the program has been operating since 2000. The success of the program depends upon the generosity of hunters to donate venison and other wild game, cooperation from meat processors throughout the state, support from local food distribution organizations, and the financial contributions of businesses and other citizens.
Hunters can donate their deer from this season and help Arkansas Hunters Feeding the Hungry so that the state's less fortunate can have healthy meals. There are about 60 meat processors statewide who accept and process venison and other wild game from hunters for the program.
With the growing number of deer in Arkansas, crop and property damage permits are being issued to farmers, airports, military installations and agricultural facilities. Some of these deer and other big game are discarded at times. In addition, liberal bag limits and extended seasons are putting hunters in the position of being able to take more deer and other big game than they can personally consume. Hunters Feeding the Hungry helps distribute this surplus to put healthy meals on the table for needy people.
All this costs money. Most of the processors participating in Hunters Feeding the Hungry do the work at their cost. Donations help with the program's work.
For more information on the program or to donate, contact Ritter at 501-282-0006 or visit www.arkansashunters.org.
Arkansas Hunters Feeding the Hungry processors, by county (also available on Page 28 of the 2011-12 Arkansas Hunting Guidebook):