Hunting season is in full swing, and some are using their skills to give to those in need this holiday season.
Many times, food drives ask for canned goods and non-perishable items, but the annual Hunters Against Hunger program brings something fresh to the table.
This is the busiest time of year at Terry's Taxidermy, turning deer into venison. Hunters say it has been a good season so far, and many have already reached their personal goals.
“For the last 25-30 years I’ve been coming back to Oklahoma for Thanksgiving or Christmas, and I always try to make a hunt,” Art Earlywine said, who is home from Louisiana.
Earlywine only uses the meat of one deer for his own family, so he brought another to Terry’s to be donated through Hunters Against Hunger.
“I think it’s an obligation that we all have to help our fellow man, and if you’re not going to consume the meat yourself then you certainly don’t want it to go to waste,”said Earlywine.
Each deer can produce eight five-pound packs of ground meat, which is then passed on to local shelters and food banks.
“We send them thousands of pounds of meat. It comes in five-pound chubs, so it’s going to feed thousands of people,” Terry Mayberry, owner of Terry’s Taxidermy, said
The state wildlife department works with meat processors like Mayberry to organize this campaign. He only asks for a $10 donation, a fraction of the normal cost to customers.
“We don’t really make anything off of it,” said Mayberry. “It’s just kind of our contribution.”
As the hunting season continues, Mayberry says he expects about 200 donations at his shop alone, making the holidays a little bit fuller for Oklahomans in need.
Most counties have a designated meat processor that participates in Hunters Against Hunger. To find one near you, click here.