Bass Pro Shops and Ozarks-area deer hunters help those in need by donating venison
Hunters provided more than a quarter million pounds of venison in 2015
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Ozarks area deer hunters are invited to contribute venison taken during 2016 youth and firearms deer hunting seasons to Missouri’s Share the Harvest program, which is an easy way for hunters to provide healthy, nutritious meals to those in need. In 2015, 4,500 Missouri deer hunters donated more than 250,000 pounds of venison that went to local charities to feed the hungry. More than 3.5 million pounds of venison have been donated since the program began in 1992.
“Hunters pay an essential role in keeping growth of our state’s deer herd in check. Bass Pro Shops is proud to support the incredibly successful Share the Harvest program,” said Bob Ziehmer, Bass Pro Shops senior director of conservation. “Share the Harvest provides millions of servings of high-protein, low-fat meat to people in need.”
Hunters can donate as much of their deer as they like at approved processing plants. Funds are available to help with processing costs when a whole deer is donated. Information about the program is available at each processing plant can be found online at https://huntfish.mdc.mo.gov/hunting-trapping/species/deer/deer-share-harvest or by contacting the Conservation Federation of Missouri at 573-634-2322.
Statewide sponsors of the cost-reduction program include the Missouri Department of Conservation, Shelter Insurance, Bass Pro Shops, the Conservation Federation of Missouri, Missouri Chapter Whitetails Unlimited, Missouri Chapter Safari Club International, Missouri Chapter National Wild Turkey Federation, Missouri Deer Hunters Association, Missouri Food Banks Association, Drury Hotels and Midway USA Inc.
Bass Pro Shops is the Greene County sponsor and works with J&L Custom Processing in Walnut Grove, Missouri and Turner Meat Processing in Fair Grove, Missouri to process meat in the local Share the Harvest program. Bass Pro Shops then picks up the venison and delivers it to Crosslines, who allocates it to those in need according to supply.
“Protein sources such as meat are very costly and often rare for Crosslines food pantry to provide,” said Tom Faulkner, director of Crosslines. “The Share the Harvest program allows Crosslines to offer food for families in need that offers a very important lean protein supplement. We hear from so many families how thankful they are to have the venison offered.”
The Missouri Department of Conservation launched the Share the Harvest program 22 years ago due to concerns about the hunger that burdens many Missourians. The Share the Harvest program provides an easy way for hunters to donate venison they harvest during the state's archery, youth, alternative and firearms deer seasons.
“This great program would not be possible without the generosity of Missouri deer hunters,” Ziehmer said. “They spend a lot of time and money in pursuit of the white-tailed deer and then to turn around and donate all or part of their venison to those less fortunate than themselves is truly exceptional.”
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About Bass Pro Shops®
Bass Pro Shops is a leading destination retailer offering outdoor gear and apparel in an immersive setting. Founded in 1972 when avid young angler Johnny Morris began selling tackle out of his father’s liquor store in Springfield, Missouri, today 100 retail and marine centers host 120 million people annually. Bass Pro Shops also operates White River Marine Group, offering an unsurpassed collection of industry-leading boat brands, and Big Cedar Lodge, America’s Premier Wilderness Resort. Under the visionary conservation leadership of Johnny Morris, Bass Pro Shops is known as a national leader in protecting habitat and introducing families to the outdoors and has been named by Forbes as “one of America’s Best Employers.”