During the 2013 deer hunting season in Ashe County, hunters turned 59 deer over to a local, state-licensed processor who converted each deer into ground meat. That resulted in around 2,360 pounds of meat, which was converted into 9,440 wrapped, ready-to-eat meals that were distributed to four charities in the county.
Those charities then distributed the meat to needy families. The Ashe County Wildlife Club contributed $1,000 of the $2,180 that was raised to convert the deer into the meals.
“This is the fourth year the Ashe County Wildlife Club has been involved in this worthy project,” said Bill Burkett, the club’s coordinator between hunters and people who are interested in contributing to the project.
“This is a good project for churches, businesses and individuals to get involved. I would like every church in the county that has a men’s, women’s or fellowship club to join us before the fall 2014 hunting season. You don’t have to be a hunter to feed the hungry in our county, just interested in donating money so the deer which are donated to the project can be processed,” said Burkett.
One of the ideas Burkett is pursuing is contacting all of the Ashe County churches to designate the last Sunday in October (just before muzzle loader season opens) as a day for a special collection to be raised for the meat processing. Bow hunting season opens in September, so the 2014 Hunters for the Hungry program will be launching in less than nine months.
“In years past people hunted until they filled their own freezers and then they stayed home. Hunters for the Hungry allows hunters to continue the sport, but with a humanitarian purpose of helping those people who are having trouble putting food on the table,” Burkett said.
The Ashe County Wildlife Club is a club of men and women who enjoy hunting, fishing, and the shooting disciplines. It maintains ranges for rifle, pistol and the shotgun sports in eastern Ashe County. The Ashe County 4-H Shooting Sports Club is sponsored by the club. New members to the Wildlife Club are always welcome with the only requirement being that new Club members also belong to or join the National Rifle Association. New members join at $125 a year and regular dues are $100 per year with lifetime memberships available depending upon age of the member.
The Club will complete its new clubhouse in April of this year, just before the first of five International Benchrest Rifle tournaments. This year the Club will host both the state and the national tournaments for benchrest shooters at 100 and 200 yards.
For more details on the Ashe County Wildlife Club, visit the club’s website at www.acwlc.org.