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Indiana Conservation Officers have received the 2015-2016 final tally of meals provided by Indiana Deer Hunters for hunger relief through the Sportsmen’s Benevolent Fund.

During the 2015-2016 Indiana deer season, hunters donated 1,333 deer to assist hungry Hoosiers. These donations were coordinated through an effort of Hoosiers Feeding the Hungry, Indiana Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry and the Dubois County Sportsmen’s Club. Each of these organizations were provided a DNR Law Enforcement Division grant that permitted them to coordinate with licensed deer processors. The venison was ground by the processors into 2 pound packages of burger. The burger was then collected by food banks and distributed as needed to feed families across the state.

67,339 pounds of venison was distributed at a cost of $1.27 per pound. 269,356 meals were provided at the cost of $0.317 per meal.

“The Sportsmen’s Benevolent Fund is one of many DNR Law Enforcement programs that I am proud to be a part of”, said Danny L. East, DNR Law Enforcement Director. “The Law Enforcement Division continues to work on ways to assist our citizens across our state and we say thank you to all the deer hunters who contributed to this effort.”

The Sportsmen Benevolent Fund was begun by Senator Mike Crider in 2008 when he sat as the Law Enforcement Division Director. The program became publicly funded in 2013 through a bill that was introduced by Senators Crider and Brent Steele.

“This program gives our Indiana deer hunters additional purpose to enjoy the outdoors and harvest a deer to assist our citizens in need”, said Mike Crider, Senator. “Our deer population is managed well, our hunters are provided with more opportunity and our citizens are provided very high protein meals for nourishment, it seems like a win, win, win situation for all of us”.