Donating Meat - What are your thought?

Redside

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I'm with Big Fin. I specifically buy a doe tag each year and try to get one for the local food banks. I'd much rather donate that than some canned goods.

Montana makes it really easy, when you buy your tags you can donate to a wild game processing fund. They use that money to pay approved wild game processors to take donated game, process and give to local food banks. It's a great program. Now hunters can take their game into a processor and just drop it off and walk away if they want, they don't even have to pay.

While I don't get a deer each year, I make it a point to put some money towards the fund. Here is more info.

https://mfbn.org/hunters-against-hunger/
 

npaden

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One other side note on this is that we have a family that we have been donating quite a bit of meat to lately who has a child that is allergic to beef and pork. He is not allergic to venison though. He LOVES wild game, it is the only red meat that he can eat, but his family doesn't hunt so it is very fulfilling to give them deer because they are very appreciative of it. They aren't technically "needy", but they very much appreciate it.

How does this work? Does Hunters for the Hungry act as the nonprofit fundraiser to cover butchering costs? Or does the hunter with the animal cover the $$$ and Hunters for the Hungry manage distribution?
I think it is different in each state. In some states the hunter pays the processing and in some states the nonprofit pays for the processing but generally asks for donations from the hunter to help cover the cost. Some processors have their own arrangement worked out with the local food bank. It really is all over the board on how it is handled other than the fact that it is required to be commercially processed.

One thing I worry a little about in just advertising free meat to whoever may need it is liability. Say the folks you give it to don't handle it well and get sick, or you didn't test it for CWD and 15 years down the road they come back with some crazy lawsuit. Do you have them sign a waiver when you give it away? That seems ridiculous and somewhat paranoid, but stranger things have happened. So far I've had no trouble finding enough friends and family who enjoy game to eat all of our animals when we have extra, but this is an interesting topic.
I guess that could be an issue if you did it locally. I never even got the names of the folks that I donated the meat to on Prince of Wales and don't think I ever gave them my name. I might have shook their hand and said my first name, but very highly doubt they could come back and actually identify me at any time in the future. I think getting them to sign a waiver would make them question what the heck you did to the meat that they have to sign a waiver for it. ;)
 

jvanhoy

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How does this work? Does Hunters for the Hungry act as the nonprofit fundraiser to cover butchering costs? Or does the hunter with the animal cover the $$$ and Hunters for the Hungry manage distribution?
In Va the first few years the hunter did not have to pay. They last time I did it I had to pay the cost. I think this keeps some from donating. The years it was no cost the processor would have to turn people away though.
 

Straight Arrow

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After a successful hunting season, I have typically donated meat to family and friends, and when I used to have it commercially processed, to the food bank. I think it is a good thing to do.

After many years applying, finally enjoying a fun season hunting moose, drawing my bow on a young bull but passing, then frustratingly trying to grow an antler on a trophy bull that lost one side, I did shoot a respectably sized bull down in the willows of a creek bottom. After six trips with my plastic sled I got him home, had him processed, was anxious to taste moose meat since that eaten before was delicious, only to discover that this guy was tough as harness leather, tasted like a willow branch, and was rejected by the whole family. Burger was donated to anyone who would take it and the whole muscle meat was gratefully accepted by the Raptor Center, where it was enjoyed and helped heal injured birds of prey. That's my story and I'm sadly sticking to it!
 

Hilljackoutlaw

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After a successful hunting season, I have typically donated meat to family and friends, and when I used to have it commercially processed, to the food bank. I think it is a good thing to do.

After many years applying, finally enjoying a fun season hunting moose, drawing my bow on a young bull but passing, then frustratingly trying to grow an antler on a trophy bull that lost one side, I did shoot a respectably sized bull down in the willows of a creek bottom. After six trips with my plastic sled I got him home, had him processed, was anxious to taste moose meat since that eaten before was delicious, only to discover that this guy was tough as harness leather, tasted like a willow branch, and was rejected by the whole family. Burger was donated to anyone who would take it and the whole muscle meat was gratefully accepted by the Raptor Center, where it was enjoyed and helped heal injured birds of prey. That's my story and I'm sadly sticking to it!
That is a tragedy!
 

Randy11

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I'm likely a selfish asshole, but I never donate meat from critters that I kill. I'll share with guys that I hunt with, because I know that it will be appreciated for what it is. To me game meat is so much more than just protein, and I'd rather appreciate that myself then pass it off to an unknown entity, or to someone that I'll never be sure if it's even used.

I've never been graced with an opportunity where game was such a nuisance that I felt I was doing someone a favor by killing something. If I have an overflow of meat from one year to another, I hold back on the trigger for a while. It's likely one of the reasons I like deer and antelope hunting so much more than elk.
 

Mtnhuntr

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It’s an interesting question. I typically consume all of the game I take while giving lots to friends, family, neighbors, etc. Although, I do like to see how they use it. I am more likely to give to those who actually use and appreciate the meat.

This year I donated almost an entire deer and some elk to a local food bank and a VA program for the first time. I did it because I had a bison and lots of elk meat so I didn’t need more. I paid for the processing and those who received it were very grateful. It ended up being a great experience and I think I will do it again if necessary.
 

Greyman

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We have a very successful Hunters for the Hungry program here in Texas. Usually you pay the processor for grinding, which I think is fair. Our local high school has a vocational meat cutting program that does it for free. If I end up with some surplus, that's where it goes.
Strangely enough, we are not allowed to donate feral hog. Because hogs are considered domestic animals, they have to be inspected live before slaughter by an FDA inspector if the meat is to be distributed to the public..
 

Hilljackoutlaw

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Yes! Then to make matters worse, some thief came across my place at night from the county road and stole the antlers off an outbuilding. When you say "moose tag" my face gets red!
Oh my gosh! I feel the state should give you another tag for your struggles. Obviously that would never happen, but come on man! It doesn't get much worse.
 

wllm1313

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Commercially processed wild game meat is very much appreciated by food banks in Montana. Unfortunately, due to FDA rules, it must be commercially processed. I wish more hunters would donate game intentionally, not just the stuff they don't want. If every hunter who could afford it would shoot one whitetail doe and pay to have it commercial processed, then donate it to a food bank, some needy families have more high quality protein.
Big Fin thanks as always for your thoughtful response, if you don't mind elaborating a bit further, when you have an entire animal processed specifically to be donated what do you tell the processor in terms of cuts? Steaks, roasts, everything else ground? I'm just wondering if food banks have a preference on what's donated?
 
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Exaclty, I probably give away 100lbs away a year, mostly to friends as I said... I'm just wondering if that instead of giving meat to people with great jobs who like it more just because of the novelty if I should trying to help families that are struggling to make ends meet.

Also, wondering if I shot a moose and AK, as an example, and donated 200lbs of meat would that really being going to families in need or actually end up in the dumpster.
Depends who/where it is donated. I think there are only 3 programs in AK for Hunters for the Hungry (Fairbanks and on the KP). That is the only guarantee your meat will be processed and eaten by people truly in need. I've personally seen where the transporter is calling to donate for people in Dillingham, Bethel, Bettles, Kodiak, and Kotezebue and people are there almost immediately to get the food. And everyone is very appreciative. I don't know if they are calling a food bank which then coordinates or if they are calling buddies.

Unfortunately, my experiences in the village and locally is that people have personified their dogs to the point of delusion. It wouldn't surprise me if the ribs and neck meat bags in the village go straight to the 5 dogs in the backyard. My wife has tried to help out two of her patients that she knew were struggling by giving them each about 30 lbs of moose meat. They both commented that it was good and that their dogs couldn't get enough. I gave some to a coworker who has some pretty severe allergies and she made the same comment. Everyone is always very appreciative and they can do what they chose I guess; I just prefer to help humans out first with the meat I had to pack out of some alder/mountain Hell. I now only give meat to my babysitter with 10 hungry kids (no dogs) and priest. I prefer to just go to Costco and buy large bags of rice, canned goods, etc. for the food bank.
 

ajricketts

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I'm likely a selfish asshole, but I never donate meat from critters that I kill. I'll share with guys that I hunt with, because I know that it will be appreciated for what it is. To me game meat is so much more than just protein, and I'd rather appreciate that myself then pass it off to an unknown entity, or to someone that I'll never be sure if it's even used.

I've never been graced with an opportunity where game was such a nuisance that I felt I was doing someone a favor by killing something. If I have an overflow of meat from one year to another, I hold back on the trigger for a while. It's likely one of the reasons I like deer and antelope hunting so much more than elk.
This is the biggest thing for me right now. One day I hope to live in a place where there is opportunity to do something Big Fin mentioned. I've yet to kill a deer in my (current) home state of Florida and definitely have not been successful enough out of state to be able to confidently buy an extra tag just to fill and donate the meat. It would likely just be an extra, wasted expense. I'd love the opportunity one day.
 

Big Fin

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Big Fin thanks as always for your thoughtful response, if you don't mind elaborating a bit further, when you have an entire animal processed specifically to be donated what do you tell the processor in terms of cuts? Steaks, roasts, everything else ground? I'm just wondering if food banks have a preference on what's donated?
I have them cut the backstraps into chops, rounds in roasts, and the rest into burger. The reason I lean more toward burger is from volunteering you see a lot of donated items that could use some burger; Hamburger Helper, pasta and sauces, and a lot of food items that if they had a pound of burger would add more nutrition value and hopefully some added taste.

A bit off-topic, I know, but if you spend one day volunteering at a food bank, it will have a big impact on how you see hunger.

Volunteering at a food bank left such a big impression on me that my wife and I notified all our family members and friends that we no longer do Christmas cards. We take that $500+ that seemed to be going out in cards, postage, etc. and we put the majority of that toward donations to the food bank. Hunger in this country of great abundance is unacceptable, at least in my mind. When you see people struggling, often for reasons that are hard to fix, it makes you realize how much food can help. And when you see hungry kids impacted by whatever parental decisions or bad luck led to that condition, the feelings to do something are strong.

One of the most impactful times there was seeing a young lady, trying to hide the signs of being physically abused, with two young kids, break into tears when I loaded boxes of food into her barely-operable car. It was obvious food was not abundant, nor was money. It was just after Thanksgiving. Seems she could use one of the $100 bill in my pocket more than I could, so I handed her one of mine. I never again saw her come to the food bank, at least not on a day I was there, but even though it was over 20 years ago, it seemed like it was yesterday; a powder blue mid-70's Chevy Impala, a scarf tied tightly and sunglasses hiding the yellowish faded bruises, a daughter of maybe five years old and a son a year or two younger neither of who looked to be wearing clothes of their size or choice.
 
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ajricketts

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I have them cut the backstraps into chops, rounds in roasts, and the rest into burger. The reason I lean more toward burger is from volunteering you see a lot of donated items that could use some burger; Hamburger Helper, pasta and sauces, and a lot of food items that if they had a pound of burger would add more nutrition value and hopefully some added taste.

A bit off-topic, I know, but if you spend one day volunteering at a food bank, it will have a big impact on how you see hunger.

Volunteering at a food bank left such a big impression on me that my wife and I notified all our family members and friends that we no longer do Christmas cards. We take that $500+ that seemed to be going out in cards, postage, etc. and we put the majority of that toward donations to the food bank. Hunger in this country of great abundance is unacceptable, at least in my mind. When you see people struggling, often for reasons that are hard to fix, it makes you realize how much food can help. And when you see hungry kids impacted by whatever parental decisions or bad luck led to that condition, the feelings to do something are strong.

One of the most impactful times there was seeing a young lady, trying to hide the signs of being physical abused, with two young kids, break into tears when I loaded boxes of food into her barely-operable car. It was obvious food was not abundant, not was money. It was just after Thanksgiving. Seems she could use one of the $100 bill in my pocket more than I could, so I handed her one of mine. I never again saw her come to the food bank on a day I was there, but even though it was over 20 years ago, it seemed like it was yesterday; a powder blue mid-70's Chevy Impala, a scarf tied tightly and sunglasses hiding the yellowish faded bruises, a daughter of maybe five years old and a son a year or two younger neither of who looked to be wearing clothes of their size or choice.
This right here explains my signature of "Do more with what you've been given". Similar to the above I have known many people who have gone on missions trips to other countries and came back with totally changed world views. If we can begin to understand the wealth that most of us have and comfort that we live in on a daily basis as compared to many in our own country, let alone other countries, I hope that it would bring a compassionate response. We have so much more than we think and others often have much, much less.

My wife and I donate a certain percentage of our income every year automatically, without exception. But we also try and donate above and beyond to various charities and/or specific needs every year. I don't say this to boast but to encourage people to take a honest look at their budget and see what they can do without.
 

Bambistew

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I don't go into any hunt with the intention of shooting something just to give it away. If you can afford to go on the hunt you can afford to spend a couple hundred to get the meat home. Alaska is a prime example of people just wanting to shoot something for the wall and walking away from the meat in the form of a "donation" because they didn't want to spend $300-400 on shipping or logistics... but they dropped $4000+ on the hunt and shipping all of the sudden put the trip over budget. LOL. If my freezer is full I don't go kill animals just to kill it and give it away, just how I feel about it. There are plenty of other people that don't have much luck I'd much rather see them fill their tags than me. I know what my family can eat in a year (or two), and limit my take to that. IMO anything beyond that is just gluttony, IMO.
 

Hilljackoutlaw

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A bit off-topic, I know, but if you spend one day volunteering at a food bank, it will have a big impact on how you see hunger.

Volunteering at a food bank left such a big impression on me that my wife and I notified all our family members and friends that we no longer do Christmas cards
I agree. When I was young and foolish at 18 I got a DUI and was court mandated to do community service. So i chose a food bank and it was a great choice cause it really had an impact on me to see it first hand. Been semi involved with food banks ever since.
I'm still kinda foolish just not that young anymore. 😁
 
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