A program that allows Iowa deer hunters to donate their kills to feed the needy is going statewide in the seasons that start next month and run through January. Ross Harrison is coordinator for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources’ “HUSH” program — HUSH for Help Us Stop Hunger. Harrison says the goal is to get one-million servings of venison for Iowa’s needy, which would come from about five-thousand deer, averaging 50 pounds each. He says hunters who have all of the meat they want can still seek out the thrill of the hunt and won’t see their prize go to waste. Harrison says HUSH has continued to grow.The program was only in central Iowa for the past two years but will now be offered statewide, as the Iowa legislature added a dollar to the price of every deer tag. All hunters need to do is hunt — and take the harvested deer to any one of dozens of lockers. Harrison says the Food Bank of Iowa will coordinate the delivery of venison through several hundred social service agencies to those in need. He says 95 lockers statewide are taking part in HUSH this year and hunters won’t be charged anything — they just need to bring the field-dressed deer in to be processed and ground into venison. In its first two years, HUSH got about 31-hundred deer from hunters. This year, with the bounding deer population and the rising number of licenses being granted, Harrison expects 325-thousand licenses to be sold. For more information, surf to “www.iowahush.com”.
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