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Hunters’ Venison Donations Provide 11 Million Meals to People in Need
For food banks nationwide, acquiring protein is a challenge because of the high cost of meat. Fortunately during hunting season, hunters help make up the shortfall with generous donations of protein-rich, low-fat venison that provide 11 million meals annually to the less fortunate.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation, the trade association for the firearms, ammunition, hunting and shooting sports industry, reports that, thanks to hunters, an estimated 2.8 million pounds of game meat makes its way each year to food pantries, church kitchens and shelters and onto the plates of those in need.

“Without venison, some of these organizations would not have protein, wouldn’t have meat, to give to those folks who are coming in,” said Peter Aldrich of Hunt To Feed in Connecticut.

With one deer able to feed up to 200 people, it’s easy to see how important donations of hunter-harvested venison are to charitable food providers. Last year in Missouri, for example, 4,500 hunters donated more than 227,000 pounds of venison through a state program.

The NSSF video called Share Your Harvest encourages hunters to contribute some portion of their harvest this hunting season. “If you have a successful hunting season, donating venison is a way to make it an even better and more meaningful one,” points out Glenn Sapir, the video’s host.

Many states have at least one organization that will accept donations of venison or other game meat and ensure it is properly processed and reaches individuals and families in need of a nutritious meal. The NSSF website Hunters Feed can assist hunters in finding a charitable food provider, and your state wildlife agency, local fish and game club or food pantry can help as well. Various donation guidelines may apply, so it’s best to check with the organization or processor before bringing in your game.

If you’re not a hunter and wish to be part of this caring effort, most organizations will accept donations to help pay for butchering and other services.

The tradition of hunters donating deer and other game for charitable purposes is longstanding, and the impact of that generosity is told in NSSF’s infographic, Hunters Feed Those in Need.

NSSF encourages you to tell that story to hunters and non-hunters by sharing the resources mentioned.

By: NSSF News

More Than A Dozen Gun Bills Await Lawmakers After Election
A variety of gun bills are being shot out at the statehouse, all of them ready to be debated by lawmakers after the election next Tuesday.

Mike Weinman from the Ohio Fraternal Order of Police says law enforcement dislikes many of the proposed gun bills, beginning with an Ohio version of Stand Your Ground.

"You're going to have questions come up in your head when you're reading these bills so ask those questions," said Weinman. "What you don't want is lethal force being the first and only force being used and that's pretty much the fear in stand your ground laws."

Stand Your Ground is just one of 14 bills - at last count - that would expand access to guns in Ohio.

One bill would eliminate most requirements for carrying a concealed weapon, while another would allow guns in the classroom. A third would recognize concealed carry permits from other states.

"We shouldn't have the legislature in the state of Indiana determining who carries a gun in Ohio," said Weinman.

But Ken Hanson from the Buckeye Firearms Association says all of this worry is overblown.

"My goodness when we changed carry in the car, people were going to be twirling guns on their fingers," said Hanson. "Well we can carry guns in restaurants and now people will be drinking beers and shooting each other. None of it every comes true."

Hanson says despite objections from the Fraternal Order of Police, each gun bill will have its day at the statehouse.

"I've called it an embarrassment of riches. we have a lot of gun bills," said Hanson.

By: Jim Heath

Deer Hunt 2014: Safety Is Now Part of Wisconsin Deer Hunting Culture
Wisconsin is one of the safest places in the world to hunt deer, and this is no accident, said recreational safety officials with the state Department of Natural Resources.

Experts trace the state’s culture of hunting safety to 1967, almost a half century ago, when the DNR launched a six-hour course stressing firearm safety. The course was voluntary, and while the impact was not momentous, the number of firearm injuries during the gun deer hunt began to slowly fall off.

In 1980, hunters were required to wear blaze orange during gun deer hunts, and the number of firearm incidents dropped more dramatically. Then, in 1985, an expanded hunter education certification program became mandatory for all hunters in Wisconsin born or after Jan. 1, 1973.

The state’s ingrained hunter safety culture was created and is sustained by the program’s army of dedicated, experienced volunteer instructors who have instilled skills, responsibility and ethics in more than the one million students. About 28,000 are trained each year.

In 1966 in Wisconsin, the hunting incident rate was 44 injuries for every 100,000 hunters. Now the rate, based on a 10-year-average, is 4.04 incidents per 100,000 hunters, a more than 90 percent reduction.
Wisconsin has now experienced four gun-deer seasons free of fatalities (1972, 2010, 2011 and 2013) with three of them occurring during the past four years.

Conservation Warden Jon King, who heads the Hunter Education Program, said hunting in Wisconsin is a safe, fun activity for the entire family. King credits the expanded course and outstanding instructors as the main factors behind Wisconsin’s safety record, but there are others. “Trends in hunting patterns have changed,” King said. “There are fewer deer drives. The tendency is for gun hunters to go out and sit. It’s more like bow hunting, where you sit for a couple hours.

King is confident more incidents can be prevented by following these four basic principles of firearm safety –known as TABK:
• Treat every firearm as if it is loaded
• Always point the muzzle in a safe direction
• Be certain of your target and what is beyond it
• Keep your finger outside the trigger guard until ready to shoot

Each deer drive should be planned in advance with safety as the top priority, King said.
“Everyone involved in the drive should know and understand the plan,” he says.

Here are some easy tree stand tips to follow:
• Always use a full-body harness.
• Always unload your firearm while climbing into or out of the stand.
• During the ascent or descent: maintain three points of contact — two hands and one foot, or two feet and one hand.

And here are King’s deer drive tips:
• Review the four firearm safety principles.
• Reconfirm you have positively identified your target.
• Reconfirm you have a safe backstop for your bullet.
• Review and stick to your hunting plan. Make sure all in the hunting party honor it.

“By keeping these tips in mind and being dedicated to using them, it will become second nature and safety becomes a reflex,” King says.

By: WLUK FOX 11 News