Archive for the 'Venison' Category

Benefits of Hunters for the Hungry

Thursday, October 27th, 2016
Donated Venison via Hunters for the Hungry program, Image courtesy of

Donated Venison via Hunters for the Hungry program, Image courtesy of

This is Passport

Texas meat processors can help feed fellow Texans by distributing hunter-donated venison to needy families through the Hunters for the Hungry program.

Well, this is a wonderful program that helps us both fight hunter and promote environmental stewardship.

Removing deer from the landscape each year promotes healthier habitat and deer populations. Celia Cole is Executive Director of Feeding Texas, which facilitates Hunters for the Hungry. She says the key to making the program work is an active network of processors.

We ask them to provide the processing at a minimal cost—we suggest around $40—and then the hunter makes that donation. So, let’s say the hunter drops off a deer, the processor will package it. And then, we provide them with a list of hunger relief agencies in their area. And they can either contact that agency to come pick it up, or they can drop it off. And, of course, they receive a tax deduction for their donation, as well.

Hunters who donate deer to the program should check with their tax preparers to see if they can claim a deduction as well. Meanwhile, Hunters for the Hungry encourages meat processors to join the program. Find more information at

And processors can go there to sign up. We also recruit directly off of lists that we have from the health department. So, we will reach out and ask processors to participate.

Hunters and processors who participate in the program are responsible for providing more than 9 million servings annually of venison to needy families.

The Wildlife Restoration program supports our series.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

A Hunter / Cook with Tips on Cooking Game

Thursday, October 13th, 2016
Solana Ranch near Salado, TX.  Photos for TPW Magazine story "Hunting with Chef Marcus"

Solana Ranch near Salado, TX. Photos for TPW Magazine story “Hunting with Chef Marcus”

This is Passport to Texas

To coax the best flavor from deer hunters will harvest this fall, proper care from field to plate, is a must. Just ask Marcus Paslay [paz-LAY]. He’s chef and owner of Clay Pigeon Food & Drink in Fort Worth.

Every step of the way—the way it’s handled—drastically affects flavor. You know, in the field, it’s something you want to get cleaned out as soon as you can, and get it cold as soon as you can. It keeps that flavor a little bit more clean.

Clean and less gamey, but not without some gaminess.

It is an acquired taste. So, I think whoever’s eating it is going to have to have a sense of adventure to a certain extent. But there are ways to overcome it a little bit. I always like using brines. Soaking the meat in a sugar, citrus, salt bath overnight—or whatever it takes. That really helps out well with big game such as venison, or hog.

Brining is just one method Chef Paslay uses to impart flavor into game.

Another way I really love on venison is rubbing it down with coffee grounds. And the tannins in the coffee help break down the proteins and they also impart a pretty strong flavor themselves, which masks the gaminess of the meat.

Find Chef Marcus Paslay’s recipe for coffee rubbed venison loin is in the October issue of Texas Parks and Wildlife magazine.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

SB 1978 Will Help Feed Hungry Texans

Thursday, December 17th, 2015
Hunter in Texas

Hunger in Texas is real, and the problem is growing.

This is Passport to Texas

Last legislative session, SB1978 passed into law, which is good news for hungry Texans. Justin Halvorsen, Parks and Wildlife Revenue director explains.

SB 1978 is a legislatively mandated bill that mandates that Parks and Wildlife allow a hunter to opt-in to donate to the Feeding Texas nonprofit, when they purchase a hunting license. And that money would go to that nonprofit, and to their program Hunters for the Hungry.

Halvorsen and Feeding Texas are working out the details of the program, including how much hunters may donate.

This would be at the time of purchase at the very end of the transaction. Either online or through any of our license agents—they will ask would you like to make a donation. It’s almost like when you check out at the super market and they ask if you want to chip in a couple of bucks.

Currently hunters pay a fee to processors when they donate an animal. Processors grind, package and then distribute the meat to local hunger relief agencies. Celia Cole is Executive Director at Feeding Texas.

And right now, typically, when a hunter donates a deer, they pay up to $40 to cover the processing. So, we hope ultimately we’ll have enough revenue to be able to offset some of those costs, which also, I think, will increase the donations.

Last year Texas hunters donated more than 100,000 pounds of healthy, lean venison to Hunters for the Hungry. Learn how to help at

The Wildlife Restoration program supports our series.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Feeding Texans by Sharing the Harvest

Wednesday, December 16th, 2015

Hunters for the Hungry

This is Passport to Texas

Hunters in Texas harvested close to 600,000 deer, and donated more than 100,000 pounds of venison to Hunters for the Hungry last season.

This comes to us at a very low cost. We estimate it costs only about a dollar per pound to process and distribute this meat throughout our network.

Hunters for the Hungry is a program of Feeding Texas—a statewide association that represents Texas food banks. Celia Cole is the non-profit’s CEO.

We estimate, since its inception two decades ago, that hunters have donated over two-million pounds of meat to feed hungry Texans.

Hunters pay a modest fee to drop off legally harvested, tagged and field dressed animals at participating processors. Processors grind and package the meat and distribute it to local feeding programs.

We’d like to see more hunters and processors involved everywhere. Obviously hunting is more prevalent in certain areas of the state than in others. So, we’re focusing on those areas where there are lots of opportunities.

Help get healthy protein to deserving Texans.

If listeners want to learn more about the program…if they want to find out how to sign up as a processor, find out how to donate, they can come to our website Increasing the number of processors around the state who are enrolled in the program is the key to us being able to grow it in the way that we want to.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.



Hunters for the Hungry

Tuesday, December 15th, 2015
Huinters for the Hungry

Hunters for the Hungry helps feed Texans

This is Passport to Texas

Imagine if you didn’t know whether you could feed your family. One in five Texas families don’t have to imagine.

We know that it [hunger] affects children, seniors, people who are chronically unemployed, temporarily unemployed… It’s a really extensive problem that’s affecting every corner of our state.

Celia Cole is the CEO of Feeding Texas—a statewide association that represents Texas’ food banks. Its program, Hunters for the Hungry, allows hunters to donate deer to feed hungry Texans.

It’s a great opportunity for hunters to give back to their communities. It also helps landowners manage their deer population. So, it’s a program that promotes environmental stewardship, at the same time it brings in a badly needed source of protein for the hungry families that we serve.

Hunters donate legally tagged and field-dressed white-tailed or mule deer at participating meat processors.

They contribute a small fee to cover the processing cost. That meal is then processed and distributed to the hunger relief agencies that we serve in that area.

Hunting licenses come with five deer tags. Perhaps earmark one for Hunters for the Hungry, and help provide healthy venison to Texans in need.

We are hopeful that potentially we’ll have hunters going out and doing more hunting, because they know that they now the opportunity to donate in this way.

Find donation details at

The Wildlife Restoration program supports our series.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.


Copy and paste the  following link into your browser for details about donating a deer to Hunters for the Hungry: