The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Outdoors

November 14, 2012

Bob Garrett's Talking Points: Hunter sharing program takes off

“The observation of nature is limitless; it’s the most fascinating adventure in the world.”

For over two decades, the Hunters Sharing the Harvest program (HSH) has channeled hunters’ donations of venison to local food banks, soup kitchens and needy families through an integrated network of local contacts and cooperating butcher shops and meat processors.

These donations provide thousands of meals to hungry Pennsylvanians. Thanks to successful efforts to expand the program, the coordinators are now recruiting additional participating butchers

This statewide venison donation program’s growing popularity and increasing hunter participation has generated an immediate need for many more Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture-registered processors, specifically those who have access to refrigerated storage facilities.

The HSH partners with the hunter or donor to cover the butcher’s costs for processing deer and donating the venison to local food banks and soup kitchens. Reimbursement of processor’s invoices are paid promptly and with complete satisfaction upon receipt.

During this past year it became necessary for otherwise unregistered deer processors to be inspected by the Department of Agriculture if involved with accepting deer to be donated to public food bank programs.

For more information on the inspection and registration requirements please call the Montoursville Regional Office of the Department of Agriculture at (570) 433-2640. For more information about Hunters Sharing the Harvest you may visit the HSH web site at www.sharedeer.org or contact John Plowman at (717) 545-1188 or (866) 474-2141.

Wings over the water

The annual autumn waterfowl migration is well underway, and you and your family can join Jon Beam, PPL’s Senior Naturalist, to observe this spectacular event Saturday from 9-11 a.m. at the Montour Preserve near Washingtonville.

Please meet at the Environmental Education Center at the Preserve to watch ducks, geese and other water birds stop by on the lakes and ponds for a break before moving farther south for the winter. It is a great opportunity to observe the migrating species that we rarely see at other times of the year.

The free program begins indoors with a brief discussion and video presentation on waterfowl identification. The program then goes outdoors to observe and identify the water birds that are at the Preserve.

Those interested should dress for the weather and plan for some walking on uneven terrain. It would also be a good idea to bring along a pair of binoculars or a spotting scope and a field guide.

The Montour Preserve is located at 700 Preserve Road, Danville. More information is available at www.pplpreserves.com.

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