Food banks receive gift of deer meat Hunters donate about 600 pounds

December 20, 1992|By Anne Haddad | Anne Haddad,Staff Writer

Except for some misunderstanding about who was supposed to pay for the butchering costs, a program that put the hunters' bounty into the kitchens of the needy worked well, said those involved in it.

Hunters are starting a drive now to raise $40,000 by next year to pay for processing deer they will donate.

This was the first year for the statewide Hunters Harvestshare, a program in which hunters organized a distribution of their extra rTC deer meat to the Maryland Food Committee and its satellite agencies such as Carroll County Food Sunday.

Food Sunday received just under 600 pounds, said Paul G. Martin, executive officer of the all-volunteer organization, which distributes food in Westminster, Taneytown and Sykesville.

"Some of its been used already," said Mr. Martin. The meat is being distributed to any of the average 375 families who come to the food bank every week. "It's wonderful to get that meat."

In the past, as this year, the food bank gets about eight deer donated by hunters, but they have had to pay for the meat to be butchered and wrapped.

The Hunters Harvestshare provided the meat free, with hunters paying the cost.

Carroll County butchers who processed the meat were Hatfield's Country Meats in Taneytown, Bullock's Country Meats Inc. in Westminster, Bauerlein Meats in Hampstead and Sam's Custom Butchering in Finksburg.

"I don't think a lot of the hunters were aware they were supposed to pay the processing fee," said Wayne Hatfield, owner of Hatfield's. That cost ranges from $40 to $50 in Carroll.

One of Mr. Hatfield's customers donated a whole deer, but most gave two to three pounds each and kept the rest of their meat.

Mr. Hatfield said he knows many more hunters would have left whole deer if they didn't have to pay the processing fee.

A few Baltimore hunters stopped in after hunting here and offered to leave the deer they killed, he said. When Mr. Hatfield told them they'd have to pay for processing, they took the deer with them, probably back to Baltimore to have a nearby processor cut it up for them.

At Bauerlein, the opposite was the case. Owner Bill Campbell said three or four people donated a whole deer each, and very few customers gave small parts of their kill.

"It was either the whole deer or nothing," he said.

The Maryland Deer Hunters Association organized the donation with other hunting groups and help from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

Each county had designated butchers to route the meat to food banks in that county.

Allan Ellis of Randallstown, president of the association, said 8,000 pounds of deer meat have been donated statewide so far. Some is still being processed, he said.

Deer-hunting season ended Dec. 12.

The goal next year is 50,000 pounds of deer meat, he said, but it can be met only if the association is successful at raising $40,000 to help hunters pay for the processing.

Anyone who wishes to donate to the program can send a check to the Maryland Deer Hunters Association, 2030 Liberty Road #200, Eldersburg, Md. 21784.

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