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Hunters, Farmers Offered Alternative to Wasting Deer Meat

WNWN coverHOPKINS COUNTY, KY (8/30/12) – Just after the start of last gun season, Chad Browning of Greenville travelled a stretch of road popular with area hunters and was saddened by what he saw. “I saw where three different camp sites had been. When [the hunters] left, they left all of the deer they had shot laying in piles at the back of the camp-sites. In an eighth-mile stretch, I counted seven deer, fully intact. Nothing had been used off these deer.”

The imagery haunted the Christian outdoorsman through the summer, and he felt called to act. “God showed me those deer for a reason.”

His answer was to start the Waste Not Want Not program (WNWN) in conjunction with the Hope2All Food Bank in Nortonville, KY. Browning was familiar with the food bank and its staff through their affiliation with his church, and they had previously mentioned their interest in donations of deer meat.

Through the program, hunters can donate their kills to be distributed to the needy through Hope2All. To participate, hunters must:

1. Call within a few hours of the kill
2. Field-dress the deer
3. Provide an accessible pickup location
4. Provide legal verification of the kill (Telecheck confirmation)

“A lot of times, hunters will kill one deer because that’s all the freezer room they have, and they won’t shoot the second deer,” he said. “So, if they know there’s someone willing to come and pick up the deer and get it to processing and it will go to a good cause, they will go ahead and fill their second tag, which in turn helps the deer population.”

Browning also expects that WNWN will receive a massive response from farmers, who may have as many as 20 tags during the season, depending on their acreage and deer populations.

“Because of ethics, some people won’t kill the deer if they don’t know where it’s going—they don’t just want to just leave the deer to lay there to rot.”

One farmer told Chad that her family gets 16 deer tags each year, but they only kill 5-6 because of their storage limitations. She said that her farm will provide WNWN with up to 10 deer this coming season. “If the word gets out, we can get large numbers from farms,” said a hopeful Browning.

He went on to stress the importance of donors keeping all the legal documentation with the deer at all times. “If me or one of my guys gets stopped with an undocumented deer, they could consider us poachers. Whoever has possession of that deer is responsible for it. Processers won’t take the deer either [without the tags].”

Browning has eight volunteers who will help him make the runs to pick up donations this season, but he is hoping for even more help. It costs about $60 to process a kill, and WNWN is reaching out to area churches and individuals for financial support, volunteers, and prayer.

Tax-deductible donations can be made to:

Hope2All
PO Box 600
Nortonville, KY 42442

To volunteer or donate a kill, call Chad Browning at (270) 635-0544

Casey Piscitelli
SurfKY News

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