Site last updated: Sunday, March 3, 2024

Log In

Reset Password
MENU
Butler County's great daily newspaper

Local hunter promotes donating venison to those in need

Stormie Baird packages venison at Bims Boloney
Stormie Baird packages venison at Bims Boloney on Wednesday, November 29. Mikayla Torrence/Butler Eagle

Steve Loder always makes it a point to donate some of his deer meat during hunting season, even after 40 years in the hobby.

“I love my wild game,” the former Cranberry Township resident told the Butler Eagle Tuesday, Nov. 28. “And when I give the landowner a sample of my harvest, they’ve always enjoyed it.”

Whether providing meat to the people who allowed him to hunt on their property, or giving some to Pennsylvania’s Hunters Sharing the Harvest program, Loder feels it’s important to give back.

“You can leave the whole deer there, and they accumulate the meat and give it to local food programs,” he said of the Hunters Sharing the Harvest program. “They also take money donations for processing the meat that gets donated to food banks.”

At Bims Boloney in Washington Township, which is one of at least six deer processors in the county that participate in Hunters Sharing the Harvest, hunters have donated nearly 200 deer so far this season.

“At least 150 to 200 so far this year,” said co-owner Zane Slater. “Maybe closer to the 200 side.

The number of deer donated to the Hunters Sharing the Harvest program, which covers the cost of processing the deer, has been fairly consistent over the years, Slater said.

Donations began during the archery season, which started Sept. 30, and normally continue throughout the hunting season, he said.

The donations are coming during a season in which many hunters are having success in the field. Slater said about 400 deer were taken to his shop for processing Saturday, 230 on Sunday and more than 100 on Monday.

According to the Hunters Sharing the Harvest program’s website, sharedeer.org, meat processors that participate in the program also include Bob's Deer Processing, 215 Ragan Road, Muddy Creek Township; McKruit's Custom Meat Cutting, 1011 Bear Creek Road, Winfield Township; Shuler's Butcher Shop, 309 Moran Road, Summit Township; T.A. Giger Deer Processing, 121 Kyle Road, Middlesex Township; and Welters Meat Shop, 170 Welter Road, Donegal Township.

Loder mentioned other organizations that take donations of money and meat to help food banks and families in need include Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry and the National Rifle Association’s Hunters for the Hungry.

Loder, who now lives in Ellwood City, said he hasn’t scored a deer this year, but if he does, he plans to donate.

“I can’t tell you how close I still am to (the less fortunate). I had some tough times in my life, and I never forget it,” he said. “Today, just as much as ever, it is still the right thing for hunters to do.”

James Barnes gets venison ready for packaging at Bims Boloney
James Barnes gets venison ready for packaging at Bims Boloney on Wednesday, Nov. 29. Mikayla Torrence/Butler Eagle
Venison at Bims Boloney
Venison at Bims Boloney is prepared for packaging on Wednesday, Nov. 29. Mikayla Torrence/Butler Eagle
Bims Boloney
Bims Boloney is a participating deer processor in Butler County for the Hunters Sharing the Harvest initiative. Mikayla Torrence/Butler Eagle
James Barnes gets venison ready for packaging at Bims Boloney
James Barnes gets venison ready for packaging at Bims Boloney on Wednesday, Nov. 29. Mikayla Torrence/Butler Eagle

More in Local News

Subscribe to our Daily Newsletter

* indicates required
TODAY'S PHOTOS