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Officials hope hunters will donate venison to food banks

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Hunters are encouraged to harvest more antlerless deer in some areas of Ohio this season to help the needy in their area and also manage deer populations.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife is working with Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry (FHFH) to help pay for the processing of donated venison.

Hunters who donate a deer to a food bank are not required to pay the processing cost as long as funding for the effort is available. More information about this program can be found online at fhfh.org.

Only venison donated through a licensed processor will be accepted. No home-butchered venison will be allowed.
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Other opportunities for hunters to donate venison can be pursued through Safari Club International’s Sportsmen Against Hunger program. Information about this program can be found at safariclubfoundation.org.

Whitetails Unlimited chapters also use local funds for programs such as venison donation. Go to whitetailsunlimited.com to find a local chapter and make a donation.

Ohio's deer gun season runs through one-half hour after sunset on Sunday, Dec. 8. The state's regular muzzleloader season will be Jan. 4-7. Archery hunting for deer continues through Feb. 2.

Approximately 420,000 hunters are expected to participate in this year's whitetail seasons, including many out-of-state hunters. For more information on Ohio hunting, visit wildohio.com.

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