Chris SheltonJuly 8, 2009 at 1:15 amPost count: 679
Well this is sure to get some minds a churning. I have been up and down on this issue since I was brought into the hunting tradition. The question at hand is, Is is ethically okay to donate a deer or some meat?
Alot of you are probably looking at this question like what are you talking about, well let me explain. In the first 5 years of hunting I would tell anyone that it was wrong to donate meat, looking at it like, if you kill a animal you should eat it, because for me I hunt for mainly food.
But now I beleive it is okay because of how much good it will do. One deer feeds on average 200 people at a soup kitchen, but I still dont like that I killed something and am giving it away, it is a very similar situation to butcher shops but they are selling the meat. Right now times are tough and I would assume that more and more people are in need of food, so it would be a great help to our country.
So there you have it, my torn delema, I really dont know how this subject matter is veiwed in the hunting community, and I would really like to know how you all feel on this subject matter. Im sure that alot of you have simmilar views to me! Feel free to tell me what you think!!!
Mark TurtonJuly 8, 2009 at 9:15 amPost count: 759
I don’t think you should have a dilemma regarding this issue, hunters have always provided meat for family, friends and their communities, in itself you are keeping alive a tradition that was once common.
There are many people today finding it very hard to make ends meet through no fault of their own and your generosity will be appreciated.
I would guess that soup kitchens will appreciate your gift without hesitation, individuals can sometimes be more difficult to deal with as often pride stands in the way of accepting gifts when you are unable to provide for yourself, in this case you may have to be very tactful.
Steve Sr.July 8, 2009 at 9:28 amPost count: 344
Some hunters in several states are setting up chapters of Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry.
I didn’t check to see where you are from before posting but, perhaps there is a chapter near you should you and other hunters band together with like interests.
While I never had too much myself myself when the family was all still home, I now sometimes have a deer that I grind up to give away.
Many are in need and while I had my butcher shop many donated 2-10 lbs ( or entire deer) to give to non working parents and single parents in our area, that we just did on our own.
More often than not we were always able to give a grocery sack of ground venison to each family that was interested come Christmas.
I was proud of the donations offered that came from all seasons regardless if it was shotgun, archery or muzzleloader. It speaks well of those in not only trad archery but for hunters as a whole.
I will say that for a YOUNG hunter, my friend, you have many of the traits I admire that many older hunters I know do not.
SteveMcDMemberJuly 8, 2009 at 1:00 pmPost count: 870
I agree. I believe this to be a non-issue. There was a time when the meat helped my young family financially. I no longer need to hunt for financial relief at all. So then the question could be expanded. If I don’t NEED to hunt, why am I still killing animals. Easy answer… we all eat meat – whether I release an arrow on a hunt or have the butcher punch a 22 bullet into a cow’s head at the slaugther house. End result is, animals are killed so we can survive. Only difference is.. me and my family are eating healthier (wild game), and we know what we are eating. Here in Dutchess County New York we have a very well organized Hunters Helping the Hungary food program and soup kitchen. It is an admirable thing to do. 8)
Chris SheltonJuly 8, 2009 at 3:18 pmPost count: 679
thanks alot guys, I do infact know of farmers and hunters feeding the hungry, and actually my art teacher at school is the organizer for the 3 western maryland countys, I was very good to him so he was very kind to me back, and in return we became good freinds so finding out the information will be not the slightest bit of a problem! Thanks again guys!
Don ThomasMemberJuly 9, 2009 at 1:13 pmPost count: 334
Actually, I think GTA has raised a very interesting question that receives surprisingly little attention… Some years back a former neighbor was having a tough time when her husband left her with five kids to feed, and I’d always use a doe tag or two each season to help her stock her freezer. Of course a lot of us do that kind of thing and I think we’d agree that it’s not just ethical but considerate. On the other hand, a lot of trophy hunting outfits are using their local Hunters Feeding the Hungry chapters as meat disposal units. In this scenario, the rich hunter arrives from out of state, flies home with his horns, and never even has to think about the rest of the animal. I think that’s ultimately bad for hunting. Of course, someone is sure to point out that I did something similar when I hunted in Africa, to which I can only reply that taking meat home was impossible, and the locals who received it really and truly did need the meat for their basic nutrition. So the answer, as usual, is: it depends. Don
Mark TurtonJuly 9, 2009 at 1:57 pmPost count: 759
I would like to comment on your last post:
‘On the other hand, a lot of trophy hunting outfits are using their local Hunters Feeding the Hungry chapters as meat disposal units. In this scenario, the rich hunter arrives from out of state, flies home with his horns, and never even has to think about the rest of the animal. I think that’s ultimately bad for hunting.’
The trophy hunter in this case is creating employment guides, trackers, camp staff, taxidermist and in remote areas pilots etc. and probably attaches no value to the remainder of the beast however his actions have provided meat possibly for a whole village. I think that we just need to change the perspective and show how well managed hunting can provide sustained employment and help local people. I would be surprised if in Africa you weren’t taken to local markets where you were expected to spend a few dollars.
I’m probably as far removed from a trophy hunter as you can get but it’s a big tent we share.
Look forward to your response, Mark.
Don ThomasMemberJuly 19, 2009 at 10:38 pmPost count: 334
I don’t want to butt heads, Mark, since as I think my first post made clear this is a complex subject. My comments really reflect my growing concern with the general over-emphasis on trophy hunting we all face these days, aided and abetted by the mainstream outdoor media. I think that when it is feasible to assume responsibility for the meat you make, you ought to do so, utilizing or distributing it personally, and I think there is a certain element of hypocrisy described in the scenario I outlined. And I’m certainly well aware of the economic value of hunting. But let’s face it: if you really want to feed the hungry here, you can buy them a side of beef… which has all of the same economic benefits as donating a deer you never wanted to eat in the first place. And taking your venison home and eating it–when possible–doesn’t cost any of the economic beneficiaries you mentioned a cent; in fact, it makes more work (and wages) for locals. Don
Mark TurtonJuly 20, 2009 at 3:19 pmPost count: 759
My observations were not an attempt to start a confrontation only to give my view that there is room for all and that it is the perception of the non-hunter that is more important than the facts.
I’ve now failed miserably to answer you repost coherently and suggest that this small thread alone might have sufficient subject matter for a book, broadly we have between us raised three points:
In trying to answer the above I have to say yes to all of the above in moderation and only the individual can be judge as to how much he should donate or spend.
My conclusion is that traditional hunters hold the moral high ground but that commercialism of hunting will overshadow us and we will be judged by the miss deeds of others.
Chris SheltonJuly 20, 2009 at 6:27 pmPost count: 679
well guys I think we should not focus on the trophy hunting side and any hunter who is hunting for antlers can not truely call themselves a hunter. DO NOT TAKE THAT THE WRONG WAY. I like big antlers to. What I mean is a person that hunts for just the antlers. Sure if I had the opportunity at a pope and young buck verses a doe I would take the buck. But I would eat the meat and use the hide also. Anyway, what I am planning to do is this. My dear freind is not doing so hot finnancially, he has just bought a house and is not so certain about his career path, they could benifit from a deer. I dont know what it is about him but he has some terrible luck, really he needs to ditch the compound and get a stick. Because everytime he has a opportunity it doesnt go well because a equipment malfunctions. Anyway, I have another freind who has a stretch of land and he needs it managed, the ratio is off and I have been trying to help him find others to come and take a doe off his property. To me those fit together nicely. A freind who has the need for a doe taken and another freind who could use some meat.
Don ThomasMemberJuly 21, 2009 at 4:45 amPost count: 334
Sounds to me like we are all pretty much in agreement here. We at the magazine appreciate big horns too… but we’ll continue to emphasize that the real meaning of the hunt involves far more, including an appreciation of the meat we bring home. Don
MViehwegJuly 21, 2009 at 2:27 pmPost count: 12
It seems to me the donation of wild game was conceived with good intentions. I have always felt a bit conflicted by the notion of donating through the state run program. However, I remember donating meat to the villagers in McGrath, AK after taking a moose on the Moose John back in 94. As I remember, we split the meat in 1/2 with me and the fella I floated with taking our portion and the other 1/2 going to villagers. They indicated at the time most hunters gave them all their meat.
When hunting out of state, I have always felt a responsibilty to bring back as much meat is allowed by the airlines in coolers then shipping back my gear via parcel post. Obviously, it would be much easier to simply give it all away than having to arrange shipment. Somewhere along the line, we have lost our moral compass when it comes to wild game meat when the trophy value of wild meat should be as great as the horns on their heads. I’m sure we all know of hunters who do their very best to make sure their responsibility ends with the killing of the animal whether that means giving the meat away to a program or letting the meat go bad. The eating of the meat should provides great nutritional value and spiritual sustenance.
Don ThomasMemberJuly 22, 2009 at 6:46 pmPost count: 334
Well said, Mark. Of course this whole discussion assumes the presence of some meat to donate (or not) in the first place, and in my case it’s been a while! Too much fishing and photography, I guess… but archery antelope season opens soon, and I’m going to have to do something about that! Don
crittergitterJuly 23, 2009 at 7:07 pmPost count: 42
uh greaterarcher why don”t you manage those does for your friend,i mean if he needs them removed and you know people who need meat i see no problem.i also see no problem with donating meat but i could never do sutch a thing because i can barely keep meat in my two freesers between the end and beginning of hunting season.also as i am sure you intend to do i would also make sure to offer meat to people i know before giving it to a soup kitchen.
TreetopflierJuly 23, 2009 at 11:26 pmPost count: 146
Greatree — thanks for starting this important and compelling thread! Mr. Thomas — we’ere honored to have you here conversing with us! You two and all other posters make it hard to add much, though this is a problematic topic I’ve worried over for many years myself. So here are my insignificant thots, boiled down hard:
1. “We should eat everything we kill.” Our own Dave Petersen said that, and I have always believe he means to say that we should not kill animals that generally are considered inedible, such as prairie dogs, if we care about the opinions of an ethical nonhunting public … not necessarily that we must eat every bite of every animal we kill.
2. I too fear that not only SCI-type trophy hunters, but also those among us who just want to hunt and kill endlessly, have used “hunting for the hungry” programs to excuse our actions.
3. But then, whitetails are becoming a real problem in some areas, with game departments forced to respond with multiple-doe tags, in some cases virtually endless. So here we have a 2-1 ethical ratio in my humble view, insofar as we can feel good about killing many aninmals we don’t eat because (a) we can give the meat to good causes, whether homeless shelters or nonhunting friends who need and appreciate it, and (b) we help the auto insurance companies reduce their deer collision claims. On the other side of the teeter-totter … are we letting ourselves off too easy re ethics? I don’t pretend to know, but it’s all worth thinking about.
I guess that in general I would say that if we really care about ethics, self-respect and nonhunter respect, we won’t kill animals that nobody will eat. Yet, if we live in areas where certain edible animals, most notably whitetails, are over-abundant and causing problems, and if we can find friends or other worthwhile consumers for the excess meat, and so long as we eat as much of it ourselves as we can reasonably use … well there you have it. What I personally must avoid is the feeling that I’m killing just to kill, wasting that life for my own pleasure and ego. That’s my bottom line and yours is … yours. Snuffs
Chris SheltonSeptember 8, 2009 at 7:38 pmPost count: 679
figured I would poke this one, season is a only a week or so away, and there are alot of new users.
To go off what I have reread, our department is very, no, extremely in need of some managment, the deer around here are like flies. Our seasonal limits are rediculous, we are aloud to take 32 deer out of all the seasons(rifle, muzzeloader, bow)they have just implemented a new rule that to take another antlered deer(dont know who would?) you need to take two antlerless deer first? Anyway more people than ever need help with todays economy the way it is! Really leaning towards donating meat!
Wary BuckSeptember 9, 2009 at 2:47 amPost count: 15
I am still fortunate to be able to hunt four nice properties fairly close (20-30 miles near my hometown) to where I live now. Three of these property owners really insist I/we (the other guys on the ground) shoot MORE deer as they do a number on their corn and beans. And if we don’t, they’ll open the floodgates and there will be rifle hunters behind every tree. And when fuel prices jumped, and their pivots run half the summer, you can feel their anguish as their end rows are a mess due to the deer.
So if I just kill a deer or two total…that just doesn’t cut it for my farmers. Last year I took seven whitetails, two bucks and five big does, all with the stick and string. My family ate one of those deer and the other six went to about 10 of my co-workers who each season look forward to when “their” deer (or half a deer) is in the locker plant and they get to decide sausage, brats, jerky, steaks, whatever. About three of these are bird hunters but the other seven don’t hunt at all, so this give-and-take ends up being a very good public relations tool for hunting in general, and also keeps me in my farmers’ good graces, and I don’t feel one bit guilty about the process. This year Nebraska is going to really try a program to link those who want venison with hunters who take extra (last year they started it). I have enough co-workers that I don’t need to do that.
MontanaFordSeptember 10, 2009 at 4:25 amPost count: 450
Myself, I agree with donating/giving away meet to friends or family that need the meat. A couple years ago, I shot a whitetail doe on an extra tag I bought, and had just previously visited with a lady friend with a daughter about just such a thing. She had a friend and her friend’s daughter living with them, so four in a house-hold. I didn’t really need the meat because I was single at the time, but I went out, bought the tag and within a week or so, was able to provide for them a mature doe for the freezer. They simply didn’t have the means to go out and get a deer, so I provided the deer for them. It didn’t bother me to shoot that doe, because I knew the meat would be used and appreciated.
However, now that I am married and have a full-fledged family, all of the meat that I take, will go toward filling my own freezer. I work seasonally, so in the winter, money gets pretty tight, and if I can offset the lack of funds with venison, I’ll do so. Besides, venison is far healthier than most beef on the market. No hormones, antibiotics or other human-created additives to worry about.
Chris SheltonSeptember 10, 2009 at 2:06 pmPost count: 679
you guys are lucky, in my family my father and I are the only ones who eat wild game. My mom and sister dont because of the mental thing? I could and probably will live off it when I am older because I like it more, plus that and for food that you add a pound of ground beef, a pound of ground deer will taste just the same(hamburger helper). I am really itching for some bolona, but we litterally still have meat from like two years ago!! The last few years dad has placed me under a trophy only policy, where we could only harvest if it was really the buck of a lifetime, and of course dad and I had opportunities at that buck of a lifetime within these last few years. I missed and he didnt get a shot(gods way of teasing us)!! If one of us did score we would have made room in our freezers, we could have but then we would never be able to find anything in there!?:shock: I have my own freezer and it is currently full of small game, but I am working on that right now!!!!:wink:
2-BIGSeptember 11, 2009 at 2:54 amPost count: 7
I think that donating the meat from game we kill to those in need or just friends and relatives is fine. I’ll tell a short story of something that changed my life when I was only 10 years old.
My parents held a big benefit dance right before Christmas for several years running and with the proceeds we bought clothes and food for families in desperate need of help.
My younger brother and I complained that we had to do a lot of work for these events and we didn’t have an appreciation of why or what we were actually doing. To teach us a lesson my parents took us to a little house in the country and told us to carry several boxes of food and clothes to the door of the house and just tell the people that it was from people who cared about them.
When the lady let us in to set down the presents her kids went nuts over the food we had for them. Dancing around the room holding canned goods and boxes of cereal they acted like they had not eaten in a long time.
When my brother and I returned to the car we asked my parents why the kids were so excited over the stupid food and we were told that the father had recently passed and the mother was unable to work and they probably hadn’t eaten very much in quite a while.
What we take for granted in our every day life means the world to those who go without. Do I have a moral dilema with donating meat from animals I kill? Not in the least!:wink:
MontanaFordSeptember 11, 2009 at 12:26 pmPost count: 450
That is a very touching story, and most likely, a well-learned lesson. Sadly enough, too many people in the modern time do not have the funds to keep themselves properly fed or clothed. Most people in a position to do so don’t realize that their own neighbor might be that person. It’s sad to know that so many people are hungry or under-clothed, especially with winter coming on and the economy not showing much in the way of a quick come-back. I won’t go into who’s fault our current economic state is, as that’s a can of worms I’m not prepared to open. However, it’s there none-the-less. Take care, all. Good hunting and God Bless.
Wary BuckSeptember 13, 2009 at 4:17 amPost count: 15
One interest P.S. to the above posts is that my brother and I often check our deer in Schuyler at a drive-in liquor store (it’s the closest place), a small NE town with a heavy immigrant population from south of the border. Once when my brother was checking his buck in, one of these fellows was in the store and wanted to look at the deer, etc. One thing led to another, and sure enough, you could tell this guy really wanted that deer. My brother drove to his house a couple blocks away and after caping the buck, the other guy started cutting it up and his large family was quite grateful. My brother could easily kill another deer for himself. [This year, the check-in will switch to call-in].
Indeed I was running two days ago through a nearby public park and there was a family fishing in this pitiful little swamp with several family members literally sleeping on the bridge, and the others trying to catch a carp for supper. Illegal or legal residents, I don’t know, but there are people out there who are hungry and if we can help by donating meat, that’s a good thing.
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