Hunting with Your Junk!

North American Hunter's Mark Kayser hunts late-season whitetails in Nebraska and scores with an out-of-the-box technique. Using junk (no, not that kind of junk!)

Bagged more than you can eat? Hunters Helping the Hungry is a program that allows outdoorsmen like you to help those less fortunate.

The program was created in April 2012 with the Nebraska Legislature's passage of LB 928.

This donation-funded program provides ground venison to Nebraskans in need. The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission accepts cash donations to pay contracted lockers to accept whole deer from hunters, and to prepare and package ground venison. The venison is then picked up by charitable organizations that distribute the venison to Nebraska residents in need. Hunters who donate a deer pay no processing fee.

Any whole field-dressed deer harvested and checked with a valid Nebraska deer permit is eligible for donation at any one of the contracted processors, which are listed under Processors & Charitable Organizations.

Since all HHH costs for processing must be covered by already donated funds, the number of deer that can be donated by hunters may be limited annually, based on the available fund balances in July. However, fund balances are monitored throughout the year and quotas initially set in July may be increased throughout the hunting seasons to support hunter demand for donating deer.

Interested processors are offered reimbursement for processing at the same per deer rate. Interested processors can apply to contract as Hunters Helping the Hungry program deer donation sites. Processors are asked to accept only whole deer from hunters that will likely yield at least 40 pounds of high quality ground venison.

The 2014 Program Year

Program coordinator Teresa Lombard expects the program will be able to accept at least 500 deer for donation in 2014, and perhaps as many as 700, if cash contributions continue to increase throughout the year.

Highlights From Past Program Years

In 2012, the very first program year, 188 hunters donated 213 deer, yielding 11,536 pounds of venison distributed through sixteen different charitable organizations across the state. In 2012, processor contracts limited the number of deer that could be donated at each location to ensure that processing costs did not exceed the program funds. Those quotas were met at some locations, but not all, and unspent program funds were retained for the following year.

In 2013, 363 hunters donated 392 deer, yielding 19,293 pounds of venison distributed through fifteen charitable organizations. In this second year of the program, quotas at each processor location were set slightly above the level of deer donations in 2012, and then those quotas were increased on a location by location basis, throughout the hunting seasons, to support hunter participation.

Contact: Teresa Lombard, Hunters Helping the Hungry Coordinator - 402-471-5430