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Sunday, March 18, 2007

Deer Hunting help communities by easing Hunger

Since 1991, Virginia deer hunters have donated in excess of 3 million pounds of venison to a nonprofit organization called Hunters for the Hungry.

More than 12 million servings of venison have reached our state's poor and hungry. In 2006 alone, Virginia hunters donated 356,054 pounds of meat to this organization; that equals 1,000 pounds of food a day for people who suffer the effects of poverty and disaster. We cannot think of a better way to help the community than to feed those who need it most.

The fees for hunting and fishing licenses are an important source of revenue for game preserves. These preserves enable deer and other animals to live in a natural habitat with no danger of the land's being developed.

The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries uses that money to maintain more than 1,000 miles of road and 200,000 acres of land in 36 management areas that are kept open and in good condition for public use.

They also work with the U.S. Forest Service to help manage 1.5 million acres of wildlife habitat in National Forest lands in Virginia. This would be impossible without the fees hunters and fishermen pay for licenses.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has reported that about 1.5 million deer-automobile accidents occur each year in the U.S. Those accidents account for about 150 deaths and $1.1 billion in damages. Not only would these statistics grow astronomically if people were unable to hunt, but auto insurance bills would skyrocket, as well.

So please, before anyone runs off at the mouth about how hunters "enjoy killing" or "should leave the control of wildlife population to God," educate yourself on the subject.

Chris and Sarah Hart Stafford


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