The Mississippi Wildlife Federation’s Hunter’s Harvest program got a big boost to start the deer season with a $5,000 donation from the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation and Southern Farm Bureau Casualty Insurance, which hopes to help reduce deer/car collisions.

The money will be used to pay for processing of donated venison, which is then distributed to food charities throughout Mississippi through the program.

“White-tailed deer are an overly abundant resource in this state that can cause millions of dollars in damage to private property each year,” said Mike McCormick, president of Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation.  “We are happy to support a program that encourages the management of our state’s deer population while giving back to local communities at the same time.”      

The Mississippi Hunter’s Harvest program works with participating deer processors throughout the state to accept venison donated by deer hunters during the hunting season. Donated venison is then ground into burger and packaged for distribution to local food charities identified by the Mississippi Food Network.

Cleaning and processing costs are paid by the program, and hunters can choose to donate all or a portion of their harvests.

During the 2015-2016 hunting season, hunters donated more than 13,000 pounds of lean, healthy venison that was provided to soup kitchens, shelters and other food charities throughout Mississippi.

Those donations resulted in more than 52,000 meals for people in need. 

“We are so proud that Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation and Southern Farm Bureau Casualty Insurance have partnered with us to help make a positive impact in the lives of those less fortunate here in Mississippi,” Mississippi Wildlife Federation Executive Director Brad Young said. “Their generous contribution will make a significant difference in the lives of so many Mississippi families this year.”  

To find a participating Hunter’s Harvest deer processor in your area or to learn more about the program, contact the Mississippi Wildlife Federation at 601-605-1790 or visit their website at www.mswildlife.org.