Southern Illinois deer meat donations down this hunting season - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Southern Illinois deer meat donations down this hunting season

A Southern Illinois deer meat processor reports that its seen about half the deer meat donations to local food pantry's than it saw at this time last year.

Miles Brother's Meats in West Frankfort donated nearly 6,000 pounds of deer meat to area food pantry's last year, according to owner Chad Miles.

This deer season, area hunters have only donated about 50 deer or only several hundred pounds, Miles said.

Miles says he believes it's because the "Sportsmen Against Hunger" program is no longer being funded many of the Southern most county's in Illinois.

The program pays meat processing company's $50 per deer that a hunter donates to a food pantry.

Miles Bros. Meat is accepting deer for donations and will process them for free and donate the deer to area pantry's.

“Just bring it and we'll take care of it," Miles said.

There are more than 40 deer meat processing centers in Illinois that participate in the "Sportsmen Against Hunger" program.

According to the NRA Hunter Services Department the "Sportsmen Against Hunger," was state wide in Illinois during the 2012-2013 season.

A volunteer at the Benton Ministerial Alliance Food Pantry's, Dave Webster, says the loss in deer meat donations could take a toll on local family's in need.

"I think it's going to be difficult," Webster said. "We rely on it a lot."

Webster also encourages people to donate.

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