With the second component of Ohio's firearms deer hunting season set for tomorrow and Sunday it's noteworthy to point out that the state's hunters have (so far) donated 95,500 pounds of venison from 1,910 deer. This figure represents 382,000 meals.
Last year at the same time, 671 deer were donated and collectively provided 33,550 pounds of venison.
The project is a cooperative venture between the Ohio Division of Wildlife and butchers. It is called Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry. A $100,000 subsidy grant was provided in two $50,000 installments by the Wildlife Division with the understanding that the funds would be matched by the FHFH.
Venison donated to food banks must be processed by a federal, state or locally inspected and insured meat processor that is participating with the FHFH. There are currently 65 participating meat processors in Ohio.
Locally in Lake County, Lake Metroparks has teamed up the Coast Guard's Station Fairport Harbor, the United Way of Lake County and Leroy Township butcher Joe O'Donnell in providing processed deer for several area food banks.
During the recently concluded first segment of the firearms deer hunting season O'Donnell had processed 200 pounds of venison.
For information about donating a deer, contact O'Donnell at 440-667-6907.
In other deer gun hunting related news, during the seven-day deer gun season the state recorded eight hunting accidents, called incidents. This figure was on the high average end. At least none of these accidents were fatal.
Last year during the two-day extended gun season the Wildlife Division recorded four hunting accidents, two of which were fatal.
- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn