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Organization utilizes unwanted deer during crop growing season

pixabay.com

Deer hunting season doesn't begin until September, but farmers might encounter the animals feeding on their crops before then. Officials are spreading the word about a way these farmers can donate any unwanted deer.

The nonprofit organization Kentucky Hunters for the Hungry, in conjunction with the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife, allows hunters to donate any excess deer meat they harvest.

Roger LaPointe is the Executive Director of Kentucky Hunters for the Hungry. He said farmers have the option to donate deer that are legally killed outside of deer hunting season.

“If they shoot deer that’s doing crop degradation, we’re able to get those deer and get them to processors and then utilize the meat. And that usually takes part in, usually, when soybean season starts growing, when beans start getting up,” said LaPointe.

This meat is used to provide meals for people in need. He said donating venison for the program saves animals harvested throughout the year from going to waste.

“I think the word’s getting out of our program. And we’re doing a venison meat stick program now in some eastern Kentucky counties, and we did over 60 thousand of them that go into after-school backpack programs,” said LaPointe. “And that’s turned out to be a great hit.”

He said farmers should schedule their donations in advance so officials can properly coordinate the use of transportation trailers and processers. Farmers and other landowners facing crop degradation can also apply to be matched with deer hunters through the organization’s “Whitetail Access” program.

LaPointe advised landowners to first reach out to the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife at fw.ky.gov. More information is also available at kyhuntersforthehungry.info.