It’s fall season in the Mountain State and 350 thousand people are heading out to the woods in the state for that eluded buck over the next two weeks.
It’s a pastime that has been woven into the very fiber of West Virginia’s heritage.
“It’s really about all of the family stuff that goes along behind it and all of the family tradition that goes with deer season,” says Daniel Davis, a hunter in Kanawha County.
Ask any West Virginian and they will tell you that hunting has made its mark on the people of this region. Davis nabbed a ten point buck Monday morning and says it is very prideful to eat your own food.
“We take a lot of pride in the fact that we can go out into the woods and get our own meat, and we process it all ourselves, and we will eat this for the next year,” remarks Davis.
And if you don’t want to eat the meat you harvest or would like to donate to a good cause, it’s easier than ever to do so.
This year marks the 27th year in a row that the Division of Natural Resources operated the Hunters Helping the Hungry program.
“The hunter harvests the deer, and all he has to do is field dress the animal, and then take it to one of the processors within the state of West Virginia that are participating,” says West Virginia Agriculture Commissioner Kent Leonhardt.
PROCESSORS: Check out the full list of processors in West Virginia here.
The only processor with the Hunters Helping the Hungry program in Kanawha County is Milam’s Custom Meat Processing, a butcher shop three years in the making located about a half mile off Poca River Road.
CHECK OUT: More details about Milam’s Custom Meat Processing can be found here.
Owner Adam Milam says its easier than ever to donate to the program.
“If the hunter wants to go kill their game and bring it here and don’t want to eat it, they can donate it to the state at no charge to them, and they just bring it here and drop it off for free. Then the food banks will come in and pick up and then food banks will disperse it.”
MORE DETAILS: For more information on the Hunters Helping the Hungry program, click here.
Since its inception, hunters and participating processors have donated over 25,000 deer towards the cause, resulting in nearly 1.4 million people receiving help and nearly 980,000 pounds of meat being utilized through the program.
So, whatever it may be for you, there are plenty of reasons to get out and enjoy the woods this season.
Whether it’s getting a chance to catch up with family, maybe just hanging out with a few friends, or just taking in some of what Mother Nature has to offer here in the Mountain State, one thing is for certain, deer season is much more than just hunting here in West Virginia.