Hunters donate 67,000 pounds of venison

A white-tailed deer peeks through the trees at the Cleveland Metroparks reservation in Strongsville, Ohio Friday, Jan. 10, 2014. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)
A white-tailed deer peeks through the trees at the Cleveland Metroparks reservation in Strongsville, Ohio Friday, Jan. 10, 2014. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The state Department of Natural Resources says Indiana hunters donated nearly 67,000 pounds of venison to food pantries during the 2013-2014 hunting season.

The DNR says that’s the equivalent of nearly to 267,000 meals donated through the Sportsman’s Benevolence Fund, which was created in 2008.

State Sen. Brent Steele co-authored the bill that secured state funding to handle processing fees for the donated venison. The Bedford Republican says the program allows hunters to continue hunting while providing much-needed meals to Indiana families.

Republican state Sen. Michael Crider of Greenfield co-authored the bill. He says partnerships between meat processors, food pantries and the DNR are essential to the success of the Sportsman’s Benevolence Fund.

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