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Hunters hunt for the hungry

October 12, 1997

By MARLO BARNHART

Staff Writer

Maryland hunters will get a chance this year to feed a hungry family while they enjoy their sport.

Christ Lutheran Church in Hagerstown has organized a Hunters Feeding the Hungry program to make venison available to Food Resources Inc., which will then distribute the meat to other charitable organizations and food banks.

"The meat that we get has to be USDA-inspected,'' said Brad Seller, Food Resources Inc. director. "We get frozen chicken from time to time and we go out and purchase meat sometimes and store it in our freezers,'' he said.

When the venison starts rolling in, Sell said, it will be put in the Food Resources freezers and then distributed to member agencies.

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There are two ways hunters, and others, can participate:

- Churches, businesses and individuals are being approached to pay for the processing costs of venison, which is approximately $30 per deer.

- Hunters are being asked to donate deer to the feeding program directly.

Ernst Market in Clear Spring, Holsinger's Meat Market in Maugansville and Woodlawn Farms in Sharpsburg have agreed to process the venison for this program.

"We are hoping to raise $5,000 this year, an amount that will process 166 deer resulting in 8,300 pounds of venison for the hungry,'' said Rick Wilson, an organizer of the event.

Food Resources Inc., is the nonprofit food warehouse on Eldridge Drive that serves as a distribution center.

The deer meat will be picked up from the processors by Food Resources Inc. and distributed to its member agencies.

Wilson said meat is the least available food item for agencies serving the hungry. Venison is a low-fat, high-protein meat.

As Maryland's deer herd continues to expand, the bag limits have been raised to help control the population. Many successful hunters may have more venison than they can use, Wilson said.

"We support this program,'' said Patty Manown, spokesman for the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

- Currently bow season is in for bucks, ending Jan. 31.

- The early muzzleloader season for bucks is Oct. 16-18.

- Deer/firearm season in Maryland for bucks is Nov. 29 through Dec. 13.

- And on Nov. 15, there is a special youth hunt for those under 16 who have completed a hunter safety education course, Manown said.

Manown said hunters should refer to their 1997-98 DNR hunting/trapping guidebook for more details on limits, etc.

For more information on the Hunters for the Hungry program, call 301-582-4223.

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