Hunters encouraged to Share the Harvest in Missouri

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - Firearm deer season is right around the corner and hunters are encouraged to "Share the Harvest."

It's a program that allows hunters to share their deer meat with the less fortunate and some people think it's a bulls-eye.

The program has been going on for 20 seasons and the numbers prove it's continuing to grow.

Three years ago 4,200 deer were donated to the program.  Last hunting season about 6,100 deer were processed.  This year with some extra funding they're hoping to have the biggest season yet.

Russell Duckworth with the Missouri Conservation Department says this program is top notch.

"It is very low fat meat, it's very health conscious meat for people," said Duckworth.  "There are people out there that otherwise wouldn't be able to have meat for their diet.  Yes, it is extremely important and the program benefits them greatly."

Karen Green, the Executive Director of the Southeast Missouri Food Bank says some people enjoy the thrill of a deer kill, but don't enjoy deer meat. So she says this program could be the perfect match.

"There's a lot of people in Southeast Missouri that love to deer hunt, so I would just invite them to think about the fact that a successful deer hunt could be a really wonderful gesture for your neighbors that are hungry and in need," said Green. "Most people that come to us for food assistance, they're not picky, they take whatever they can get."

Head to http://www.mo.gov/ to find an approved processor near you and more information on the program.

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