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Kammermeyer: Local program feeds off deer meat
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New Hunters for the Hungry Program by Quality Deer Management and Southern Heritage Land Company
This fall is the third year of a very successful Hunters for the Hungry program sponsored by Lanier Quality Deer Management and Southern Heritage Land Company. There is a new twist for fall 2008 in that all deer hunters can donate deer to the program any day during the entire bow and gun seasons from now through Jan. 1. A full season of donations has never been done in this area before.

If your freezer is full, and you harvest extra deer that you can field dress and share with others, we can’t think of anything that fits together better than quality deer management and a Hunters for the Hungry program.

Called “killing two deer with one stone,” Hunters for the Hungry is fulfilling the need to harvest does (or bucks) to control the deer herd (it’s much better than letting deer/car collisions or disease do the job). This is combined with a fine humanitarian way of utilizing the high-quality ground venison that contains only five grams of fat (about the same as turkey or chicken), 22 percent protein, 62 grams of cholesterol (lower than turkey) and best of all, it’s guaranteed chemical free.

QDMA started our local program in fall 2006, but actually made our first donation of frozen ground venison in Dec. 2005, delivering 500 pounds of venison purchased from Hicks Deer Cooler in Crawford to Good News at Noon. We discovered that a home spun HFH program was not difficult, thanks to one of our corporate sponsors Southern Heritage Land Co. When we announced our plans at the 2006 banquet, Charlie Lathem and Stan Bennett, brokers at SHLC, approached us shortly afterward and said they had been considering doing an HFH program for years but just could not get it going. They were excited to have the opportunity to partner with our branch and its local officers. SHLC wrote us a $1,000 check (for deer processing fees) to kick off the program, and challenged all other corporate sponsors from our banquet to match their donation, or contribute $500 or $100, or whatever they could. Then they went out and bought a brand new chest freezer to help temporarily store meat for the HFH program.

Meanwhile, we worked out a deal (including written contract) with Patrick Hroma of PK’s Deer Cooler located at 4741 Buckhorn Circle off of Mount Vernon Road (Hwy.283) and Buckhorn Road 1, to process field-dressed deer into ground venison in one-pound packs. He will also process quartered deer, skinned and brought in a cooler at a reduced price. He even agreed to do individual portions of deer including shoulders and hindquarters donated to HFH at his cooler.
Here is another great deal that Hroma will help us with.

As hunters drop by to pick up their frozen packaged venison, he places a flyer with QDMA and SHLC logos on top of the meat saying, “Please consider donating one or two packs of your ground venison to our Hunters for the Hungry program. You can do it right now.”

Ground rules are simple: Please no nasty carcasses. Please donate deer of a quality that you would feed to your own family. If you are not donating a whole deer, consider donating a hindquarter. Properly field dress all deer and deliver them promptly to the butcher shop, quartered on ice in a cooler is even better. During warm weather, refrigerate or place carcass on ice. Badly shot-up and road-killed deer will be refused.

Last years’ banquet proceeds and a donation from SHLC paid for processing of 74 deer, totaling 2,940 pounds of ground venison, which was donated to 14 worthy local charities, producing a two-year grand total of 5,301 pounds. Our charities currently include Good News at Noon, Three Dimensional Life Boys Home, Gainesville City Baptist Mission, RAD Ministries, Chattahoochee Baptist Mission, Living Recovery, Eagle Ranch, Veterans and Community Outreach, L.A.M.P. Ministries, The Way Up, Serenity House, No One’s Alone, My Sister’s Place and Set Free Ministries.
All of these charities have one thing in common: A lack of high- protein foods, especially meats, and ground venison certainly fits the bill here. If you have a favorite charity in need of high-quality ground venison, let us know by calling me at 706-865-7636 and leaving a message on the answering machine, complete with your charity name and phone number. Meanwhile have a great deer season and plan to share your harvest with some less fortunate local folks. Best of all there is no catch and no overhead. It’s easy and it works.

Kent Kammermeyer is a certified wildlife biologist.

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