That roaming deer that poses a danger to your car on the highway may soon become a meal for dangerous criminals. The Iowa Department of Corrections is instituting a plan this fall to use deer shot by Iowa hunters as a meat supplement in the state’s prisons. Department Deputy Director John Baldwin says the venison will supply 84-hundred inmates in nine prisons. He says the prisons have contracted with lockers in their area and will pay them to process the meat. Baldwin says they will pay 20 to 25 cents per serving and that will be their meal cost. He says it will cost 50 to 75 dollars on average to process one deer. The state announced a program Tuesday called “HUSH,” or “Help Us Stop Hunger,” that will use donated deer to help feed the hungry. Baldwin says the prison program is a parallel program to the HUSH program and is not intended to compete with HUSH for the deer meat. He says the prison program will take deer from areas not served by the HUSH program. Baldwin says bringing in the deer for the prisons works much the same as the program to feed the hungry. He says hunters will be issued licenses to shoot the deer and then take it to a participating local locker that will process the meat for the prison. Baldwin says they hope feeding the deer meat to prisoners will help the state with two problems — economically feeding the prisoners and thinning the deer herd. He says they are ready to give the program a try and “see how our offenders relate to it.” Baldwin says they evaluate the program and see how it works. The state will issue an additional 30-thousand licenses for female deer this fall in an effort to thin the deer herd. For more information on the prison deer program, contact the Iowa Department of Corrections.
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