View Full Version : Culling Deer in Point Reyes National Seashore

May 16, 2008, 06:54 AM

I posted this in the political section of the site, and might get bounced here. As I don't visit the other section often, and the letter is hunting related, I thought I'd post it here too. This is from today's paper. It ran in tha Marin Independent Journal. A newspaper that serves Marin County, CA (the county on the other side of the Golden Gate Bridge).

"Deer meat put to good use"

In recent months, the controversial practice of culling deer from the Point Reyes National Seashore has been taking place, with some of the meat being donated to the Redwood Empire Food Bank in Santa Rosa.
The Redwood Empire Food Bank now reaches more than 50,000 people each month in Sonoma County. Providing 10.5 million pounds of food annually, we distribute enough food to feed lunch to a sellout crowd at AT&T Park in San Francisco every day of the baseball season.

As a director of a hunger relief organization, I am dismayed at the lack of outrage for people who are struggling to keep their families well nourished.

Undoubtedly, the taking of any animal's life is sad and weighs heavy on us all. But, what I see every day of the year is the culling of our low-income neighbors in need of food assistance.

It is the child who goes to school hungry and is unprepared to learn, and diets that are low in iron, resulting in a high incidence of anemia - the detrimental effects which last a lifetime. As one single mother said to me recently, "My daughter and I have been living out of a bag of rice."

In these times of rising food prices, you can be sure that people who have received the meat are grateful and the lives of the deer were not taken in vain. Food from these animals affords the opportunity for the people with whom we share our communities to have a better chance to live healthy and productive lives.

David Goodman, Novato, executive director, Redwood Empire Food Bank

May 16, 2008, 09:48 AM
I harvest quite a few deer and small game thruout the season and theres alot of older folks I know in the area that I drop off venison and other game thruout the year. They are very grateful for this and its alot better than them eating dog of cat food on the low income they get for living. My Family eats around 5-6 deer and other game over a year and also have a large garden that we can and freeze stuff for the winter. Alot of my vegtables are also given to the people that I try to help as much as I can with food and other things they need. I think its a great thing for the hunters to help the hungry. There should be more programs in line for this to offset the cost to the butchers that process the meat for the food banks. In my state they actually make the hunter pay $60.00 to have the meat processed and donated to a food bank:eek:. Im not against putting out the money but the state should be paying the butchers charge because they dont give the seniors or dissabled enough to live on. Alot of hunters dont take part in the program due to having to pay to give the meat away. They would rather do it themself and keep it.

May 16, 2008, 10:48 AM
The Missouri Department of Conservation runs a share the Harvest program, for donating venison to various food banks around the state. The department provides a subsidy to cut the cost for hunters wishing to donate. I believe the Department subsidy reduces the cost to I believe 25$, However in many cases they have worked out deals with local sponsers and charitable organizations so that the entire cost of processing is covered when deer are taken to certain processors to be donated.

For 2006-2007 (the latest numbers I could find), Missouri hunters donated 322,500 pounds of venison through the program (as a contrast only 20,000 pounds were donated in 1998).

From MDC annual report as printed in the Missouri Conservationist magazine


Meat-donation program

Conservation agents coordinate and support the Share the Harvest program with the Conservation Federation of Missouri, local charitable organizations and local meat processors. During FY07, approximately 6,580 hunters donated 322,500 pounds of venison.

The main link for information is here if interested


Personally I really think it's a good program they have running and if I'm ever successful enough with fall deer hunting (ie: get more than 2) I plan on seriously considering donating myself.


Jack O'Conner
May 16, 2008, 04:46 PM

I'm glad that these wildlife resources are NOT totally wasted.

My gripe is that the FEDS are wasting valuable funds to have these fallow deer and axis deer culled by fee-paid hunters. It seems much smarter to have hunters pay for privilege of harvesting trophy deer within the Park. But I do comprehend the strong anti-hunting sentiment of Bay Area.

Its a complex problem that requires strong leadership.