Hunters can share their harvest

November 22, 2009|By JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, Pa.-- Deer hunters can send venison to Pennsylvania food banks in coming weeks through a program known as Hunters Sharing the Harvest.

George Stitely, of Stitely's Meat & Deer Processing, signed up his Chambersburg, Pa., company as a processor through the program last year. Hunters provided approximately 150 pounds of meat through Stitely's in 2008.

"I just thought it was a good program. ... A lot of hunters shoot the deer and don't need the meat after they shoot a couple," George Stitely said.

Pennsylvania's two-week firearms deer season starts Monday, Nov. 30. In a press release, Pennsylvania Game Commission Executive Director Carl G. Roe reminded hunters that a license must be displayed in the middle of their backs and harvest reports can be filed online.


Daniel Strite started working with Hunters Sharing the Harvest when he took over a deer-processing company seven years ago. Country Foods, on Buttermilk Road in Quincy Township, processes for the program for individual hunters and the game commission after it confiscates a deer.

"They'll salvage the deer," Strite said.

Strite said he reminds donors that a $15 tax-deductible donation must accompany a deer for Hunters Sharing the Harvest. Hunters receive a receipt for the contribution, as well as a $15 discount card for Gander Mountain.

"We're able to do it all. The deer has to have the legal tags and be field dressed," Strite said.

Hunters Sharing the Harvest has coordinated the donation of venison to food banks since 1991, according to a news release. More than 100 deer processors participate.

"The demands on local pantries and food banks are growing due to the recession, so there has never been a more important time for sportsmen to consider participating in this venison donation program. Even small donations can make a big difference for local families suffering from hunger," state Sen. Richard Alloway II said in a news release.

Alloway, R-Franklin/Adams/York, is chairman of the Pennsylvania Senate's game and fisheries committee.

The news release states the Hunters Sharing the Harvest program provided more than 92,000 pounds of meat to 21 regional food banks last year.

Stitely's, at 3647 Haulman Road in Chambersburg, and Country Foods were the only Franklin County, Pa., processors listed in the news release. To find the closest Hunters Sharing the Harvest processor, call 866-474-2141.

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