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Hunting for hunger

Nonprofit needs more venison

POSTED: January 6, 2010 4:00 a.m.
Frank Reddy Dawson Community News/

Prepping deer meat for storage, Matthew Lowe twists the casings into sausage links Dec. 29.

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A local nonprofit is encouraging Dawson County sportsmen to keep hunting in order to benefit other local nonprofit agencies.


Hunters from Dawson and Forsyth counties have donated more than 1,000 pounds of venison this season for the local chapter of Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry.


Joe Schuster, local director of the organization, said donations will be accepted through Jan. 31, the end of archery season.


Schuster said the nonprofit aims to provide “delicious, protein-rich” venison to organizations like Unseen Hand Food Ministry, No Longer Bound and Abba House.


Abba House, which straddles the Dawson-Forsyth county line, received several boxes of deer meat last month from the group.


The organization’s administrator, Tracy Anthony, said it was a welcome donation.


“We are so thankful at this time of year for their efforts,” she said.


Schuster said it’s the efforts of local hunters that make the yearly push possible.


Hunters can drop off their deer at Wilkes Meats, the nearest drop-off point for Dawson County residents.


The business, which is just past the county line on Bannister Road, processes venison at no cost to the hunter.


Donations from local businesses make it possible, Schuster said.


Cecil Bennett, public relations coordinator for Dawson County’s Wal-Mart, said the organization is “doing a good job helping the local needy.”


Wal-Mart donated $1,000 to the organization last month.


Schuster said monetary donations offset the meat processing cost.


An abundance of deer donations are made possible by areas of Dawson and Forsyth counties Schuster considers “prime hunting property.”


“Typically, hunters will harvest enough deer to fill their freezer,” Schuster said. “Once their freezer’s filled, they’ll stop hunting for the season.


“We encourage people to go out and continue their hunting and take an extra deer and donate it to the program.”


Matthew Lowe cuts, chops and grinds the deer brought to Wilkes Meats.


The more donations, the better, Lowe said.


“If they keep bringing in the deer, I’ll keep doing what I do,” said Lowe, as he stacked fresh hunks of venison sausage last week.


“People are really in a giving mood these days. It’s good to see, especially in these times,” he said.



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