A Life-Saving Alternative: Donate your deer to the hungry

What do you do with your deer? Eat ‘em? Mount them on your wall? Well, whatever type of hunter you are, the National Shooting Sports Foundation would like to remind you that there’s another possible option: you can always donate your deer or other game animals to feed the hungry.

At first glance, it seems a little bit silly. We’ve all heard of donating canned goods, but giving away a deer to the homeless? It turns out that it’s actually incredibly helpful for those in need. More than 11 million meals were provided to the hungry through the generous donations of hunters in 2010 alone.

Glenn Sapir, the NSSF Director of Editorial Services, said, “I believe that what a person gives is returned many times over. I have no doubt that if a hunter makes a venison donation to a local food pantry or church kitchen, he or she will receive great personal satisfaction in knowing they have provided many meals to people in difficult circumstances.” He added, “If you have a successful hunting season donating venison is a way to make it an even better and more meaningful one.”

He makes a good point. Having the head of an impressive buck on your wall is a worthy trophy, but seeing the smiling face of a child that you helped feed is a reward all in itself.

Not only can your donated deer feed up to 200 hungry people, but it will also help to create a balanced diet for people who are accustomed to instant mashed potatoes and canned corn. The president of Hunt to Feed in Connecticut, Peter Aldrich, said, “Without venison donations, some organizations would not have protein to give to people.” Simply put, fresh meet is just too expensive. Your deer could provide the equivalent of hundreds of dollars in fresh meat.

Of course, Connecticut isn’t the only state that could benefit from your donations. There are similar programs all across the U.S. If you’re having trouble finding a credible organization, the NSSF encourages you to contact your state’s wildlife department or a local fish and game club.

Donating deer is a great way to give back to your community and help those in need – especially for the hunters out there who hunt more for the sport than anything else. Not to mention it gives you a bulletproof excuse to go hunting. You have to go out and feed the hungry – who can argue with that?