NRA, state agree on venison program Money ensures processing of meat for the hungry


November 09, 1997|By Peter Baker | Peter Baker,SUN STAFF

The National Rifle Association and the Department of Natural Resources have reached an understanding that should help offset the high costs of processing deer meat donated to the hungry by Maryland hunters.

"NRA's support of our state Hunters for the Hungry program helps us ease hunger starting in our own back yard," said Joshua L. Sandt, director of DNR's Wildlife and Heritage Division. "Every deer donated to the program provides an additional 50 pounds of meat for those in need."

Working through the Hunters for the Hungry program, venison taken by hunters is processed by butchers and distributed to food banks, soup kitchens and shelters for the homeless.

Over the past several years, thousands of pounds of venison have been donated to the needy, but donations have outstripped the funds available to process the meat.

"This is where conservation groups like the NRA can work together to ensure these venison distribution programs do not fall victim to their own success," said Craig Sandler, executive director of NRA general operations.

The agreement provides initial funding of $2,500 from the Maryland Friends of the NRA and sets a goal of $20,000 by Dec. 31 through private and corporate donations.

From the fund, meat processors would be paid $35 a deer.

For more information on donating deer or making a contribution, call 410-543-6595 or 410-228-7228.

Baitfish biology

A study funded by the National Marine Fisheries Service will try to determine the relationship between rockfish, bluefish and the baitfish they feed on.

The $785,000 study, which will be run by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute in Massachussetts, will look at how commercial fishing for mackerel and menhaden impacts bluefish and rockfish, and whether there is a relationship between the relative numbers of the two prime species when numbers of baitfish are low.

Pub Date: 11/09/97

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