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Bowhunters hoping to spread word about venison donations

By Ramon Bell
N.C. Bowhunters Association
The N.C. Bowhunters Association initiated a new program late in the deer hunting season of 2008 named the “Deer Donation Registry” or “DDR.”
This year, bowhunters hope to reach even more people statewide who are willing to accept donations of deer harvested by hunters. It is a free service offered by the N.C. Bowhunters Association.
The group also wants to inform and educate hunters about the program so they will use it after deer seasons open in September. Officials at the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission say hunters must understand that more deer, especially doe (female), need to be harvested in areas where the deer populations are too high in order to better manage North Carolina’s whitetail herd.
The initial objective of the program is to provide a source for hunters to distribute excess deer harvested to people who need or want the venison.
The first step was to create a “pool” of names of people who are willing to accept the deer carcasses with the understanding that it is their responsibility to process the meat themselves, or pay a meat processor to process it for them. This was successfully accomplished in the first phase of the program launched in November. The bowhunters group wants to continue to add names to this list of people from every county who will accept the venison donations.
The second phase involves informing and educating hunters about the program. Many hunters won’t shoot more deer because they have no place to store the meat in a freezer. Hunters end up being very selective about what they shoot. They will continue to hunt but only pull the trigger, or release the arrow, on larger, trophy class bucks.
This program will encourage hunters to harvest more doe, which in turn, will help stabilize the deer populations. A bonus benefit is that it will help enhance the quality of the buck population.
The N.C. Bowhunter’s Website at www. ncbowhunter.com has a “Deer Donation Registry” link, which lists, by county, everyone who has signed up to receive donations along with contact phone numbers.
Hunters are advised to go to the site before hunting season opens. Select a name or two from your county of residence and make advance contact to confirm that the person will accept the deer donation. This will save time for both the hunter and the recipient, and it will reinforce a hunter’s decision to harvest an animal, knowing someone will accept the meat.
The Web site includes a form that can be printed and utilized that makes it legal to transfer possession of the deer to another person.
Many people who sign up on the registry are truly in need of the venison to feed their families.
There are a few charity organizations listed among the recipients also.
If you want to be on the “Deer Donation Registry,” e-mail the NCBA1975@ triad.rr.com with the following information: Name, phone number and county of residence. Each registrant will receive an e-mail confirmation.
For more information, visit www.ncbowhunter.com.
Ramon Bell is president of the N.C. Bowhunters Association. He is also a “free-lance” outdoor writer living in Stokesdale. Contact him at NCBA1975@triad.rr.com, or call 336-643-4455.

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