DNR fund boosts venison donation campaign
The Sportsman's Benevolence Fund is taking aim at hunger by raising money to support statewide deer donation programs through partnerships with non-profit organizations whose missions are to feed Indiana's needy.
The Department of Natural Resources is supporting the fund by selling metallic pins sporting the image of a deer. This year, 25,000 pins were purchased by the DNR Division of Law Enforcement and are being sold for $5, which can potentially generate $125,000 to help in the fight to feed the hungry.
"I think it is a win-win type of program where the agency encourages the management of deer in problem areas and we can help feed the needy" said DNR Law Enforcement division director Col. Michael Crider, who was instrumental in the creation of the Benevolence Fund.
Deb Treesh, statewide coordinator for Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry (FHFH), said her organization provided more than 200,000 individual meals last year. She said donating a deer is easy. Simply contact a participating meat processor listed in the 2009 DNR Hunting/Trapping Guide, take the deer in, and FHFH pays for the processing fees. It's also possible to donate a portion of your deer.
DNR deer biologist Chad Stewart said there are additional benefits besides helping feed the hungry.
"First and foremost, the meat is being used by those who need it the most," he said. "But it also provides hunters the opportunity to hunt longer after they may have already called it quits. This has the potential for hunters to show goodwill toward their fellow Hoosiers while effectively managing the deer population."
Partnerships are being explored with the DNR Division of State Parks and Reservoirs, in which freezer trucks would be available at selected parks during their reduction hunts, pending funding in each region.
Crider said it is important to note the SBF is a non-reverting account, which means revenue from pin sales and donations go into the SBF and will not be used for any other program.
To find out more information on where to purchase the Sportsman's Benevolence Fund pins, please visit http://www.dnr.IN.gov/lawenfor for details. To make a donation to FHFH, please contact Deb Treesh at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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