Hunters Helping the Hungry: helping those in need

West Virginia’s deer archery and crossbow season is already underway, and the buck gun season will be here soon, beginning Nov. 20. That means it’s time to review one of the state’s most successful traditions: Hunters Helping the Hungry. Through this program, hundreds of needy West Virginians receive portions of high quality ground venison, which for some is the only red meat they can get during the year.

The 2017 season will mark the 26th consecutive year the Division of Natural Resources Wildlife Resources Section has sponsored the program, in partnership with hunters, financial contributors, meat processors and food banks. Since its inception, more than 24,000 deer have been processed and more than 941,000 pounds of highly nutritious meat has been provided to needy families and individuals throughout West Virginia.

Venison is a nutritious alternative to traditional red meat.

Hunters who participate in the program take their deer to a participating meat processor, where the venison is ground, packaged and frozen for distribution. The Mountaineer Food Bank (Gassaway) and Facing Hunger Food Bank (Huntington), both members of Feeding America, pick up the venison and distribute it to the needy through their statewide network of 600 charitable food pantries, soup kitchens, senior centers, shelters, community centers, orphanages, missions and churches.

Many people and organizations deserve thanks for the success of Hunters Helping the Hungry, especially the hunters who donate the meat and the generous donors who pay for its processing and distribution.

More than 941,000 pounds of venison has been given to needy families in the last 26 years.

Although DNR administers and publicizes the program, no tax or hunting license money is involved. All processing, storing and distributing costs are paid by contributions and grants from caring businesses, outdoors groups and individuals. Those costs continue to climb, as more hunters participate and more deer are donated each year.

Anyone can help with this worthy program. All donations, of venison and monetary contributions, are tax deductible and will help provide balanced, healthful meals for someone less fortunate. Checks can be made out to Hunters Helping the Hungry and mailed to:

Hunters Helping the Hungry
WV Division of Natural Resources
163 Wildlife Road
French Creek, WV 26218

For more information regarding the program, please contact Tyler S. Evans at 304-924–6211 or

For more information about Hunters Helping the Hungry contact your local DNR district office or visit the DNR website by clicking here.