Hunters from the panhandle wanting to share some of their venison this hunting season will have to use alternative methods to get that meat to charity organizations or individuals.
In previous years, those involved in the “Hunters Helping the Hungry” program had their meat processed at Bayard Processing. But Dennis Grieve sold wildlife processing business, and no one has applied to be the program’s processor in the panhandle.
Teresa Lombard with Nebraska Game and Parks says hunters can take their venison to a processing facility in North Platte or provide their contact information to an online deer exchange on the Outdoor Nebraska website with the hope of finding a food pantry or individual interested in taking their meat.
Local charitable groups can also make a request with Food for the Heartland in Omaha, which distributes venison around the region. Lombard says she can help with those requests by calling her at (402) 471-5430.
Lombard says the “Hunters Helping the Hungry” program has only half of the state money they had available last year for processing deer, so she encourages people to log on to Outdoor Nebraska or Nebraska Game and Parks websites to make a donation.