OUTDOORS: ‘Share the Harvest’ had great year

BILL WEHRLE, C-T Outdoors Sports Editor

By BILL WEHRLE, C-T Outdoors Sports Editor

The Missouri Department of Conservation and the Conservation Federation of Missouri send a big “thank you” to the thousands of Missouri deer hunters who donated 238,920 pounds of venison, including 4,787 whole deer, to the state’s Share the Harvest program this past deer season.

That quality meat goes a long ways in helping needy persons obtain meat free of charge. The donated venison stays in the local areas where the deer were harvested, truly helping out neighbors in need.

The MDC and CFM also thank Missouri’s participating meat processors, who grind donated deer meat into ready-to-use packages, and the many sponsors who financially support this program.

The meat processing fees are covered entirely or in part by numerous local sponsors and statewide sponsors that include Shelter Insurance, Bass Pro Shops, Missouri chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation, Missouri Food Banks Association, and the MDC.

Without these fine sponsors, the program – coordinated by the MDC and CFM – that was started in 1992 and since has provided more than 4.5 million pounds of lean, healthy venison to help feed hungry Missourians, could not exist.

“Hunters started ‘Share the Harvest’ back in 1992 because they saw the need for quality meat in their communities and hunters remain the driving force behind this popular program that helps feed fellow Missourians in need,” says MDC Director Sara Parker Pauley.

“We sincerely thank the thousands of deer hunters who support ‘Share the Harvest,’ and the many participating meat processors and sponsors who help make it possible.”

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic leaving some meat processors unable to take donated venison last fall, the amount of processed meat was down from 2019’s 282,935 pounds, but hopefully this fall’s donations will be larger once again.

If you like to deer hunt, but really don’t want or need all the venison you obtain, consider donating part or all of your deer to “Share the Harvest” this coming fall.

The Trenton Trap Club’s summer league closed out its 10-weeks 2021 summer season on June 17 and won’t begin another round of league shooting until sometime in August.

In case you’re curious, the team I’m on did not win, as all the “hot-shot” shooters were on other teams. We lost three team members – to a heart attack, shoulder surgery, and COVID-19, but honestly we likely wouldn’t have finished much higher without the medical problems. But it was still loads of fun!

I’d encourage anyone that likes to shoot a shotgun to get together a 5-man team and sign up for the fall league before August. Call Dick Thompson at 660-359-1964 if you have any questions and to sign up if you’re interested.

The short supply of ammunition seems to be easing as producers catch up with increased demand. I understand that shotgun shells are now available at several of the bigger suppliers.

If you’re shooting some clay targets this summer, you might want to get a case or two, and you definitely want to get some light loads before Sept. 1 and dove season rolls around.

It’s only just a couple of months until September! And frog season opens in just 4 days.

(Bill Wehrle’s “Outdoors” column appears in the C-T every Saturday)