According to the DNR, this fall some Hoosiers who need help will be able to put more food on the table thanks to deer hunters and the DNR Division of Law Enforcement's Sportsman's Benevolence Fund.
The fund makes it possible for hunters to donate venison through a participating butcher by paying the processing fee. To participate, a licensed deer hunter must legally harvest a deer, field dress it and deliver it to a participating butcher.
"This program provides an opportunity for our hunters to demonstrate their concern for their fellow man, allows the DNR another management tool for our deer population and provides nutritious meals to those in need," said Indiana Conservation Officer Lt. Colonel Steve Hunter. "It is a triple-win situation."
Hoosiers Feeding the Hungry, Feeding Indiana's Hungry (FisH) and the Dubois County Sportsmen's Club have developed a network of participating butcher shops throughout the state. The organizations also have coordinated with food banks serving every Indiana county to pick up and deliver the venison to soup kitchens. All venison is ground into burger and provided in two-pound packages.
"Protein is the hardest commodity for the food banks to get," said Debra Treesh, founder of Hoosiers Feeding the Hungry. "Thanks to contributions by Indiana DNR Law Enforcement and deer hunters, we will be able to provide nutritious protein to hunger relief agencies in Indiana."
Kevin Marsh of Maddie Moo's Meats & Deer Processing said Monday, "Some people claim they know when the deer start moving. They go by the date, the moon phase or the temperature. I go by road kills, we got four in Monday."
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A field trip to view Indiana's largest wildlife spectacle will head from Indiana Dunes State Park to Jasper-Pulaski Fish & Wildlife Area to witness the annual sandhill crane migration on Nov. 9.
Participants who have registered in advance should meet at the Indiana Dunes State Park Nature Center at 2 p.m. CST.
A short introduction will be given about the history and current status of cranes in Indiana, and then the group will bus to Jasper-Pulaski FWA to view up to 20,000 cranes as they head for their evening roost.
The trip will return to the Indiana Dunes State Park Nature Center around 6 p.m.
Cost is $20 for adults, $5 for children under 18. Children under age 3 are free. Space is limited, and advance registration is required. Trip includes the special program, light refreshments, travel to and from Jasper-Pulaski, and the state park entrance fee.
For more information, call (219) 926-1390.
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Some people like to pop bubble wrap, but my thing is running over walnuts and hearing them pop. Often I drive to the edge of the road to crush walnuts.
My fun has not gone unnoticed by the local flock of crows. They quickly learned of the delicious meat inside. Three trees are dropping walnuts in my drive and along the road.