Hunters Face Slow Opening Weekend for Deer Season

Hunters Face Slow Opening Weekend for Deer Season

Despite a slow start, some hunters are finding beneficial ways to share their meager harvest.
(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Loading the first deer of the season off the truck is a fulfilling moment for hunters.

"It's always exhilarating.  Always.  To get one down makes for a good day," said Kim Brant, who didn't nab his first until early Tuesday morning.

Firearms deer hunting season began on Saturday.

And it took Brant nearly four full days to get his first kill.

"Over the weekend it was quite pitiful," Brant said.  "There was too much wind.  It was way too windy.  It was overly warm too."

Thanks to inclement weather the Missouri Department of Conservation reports a slow start to the 2013 firearm deer season.

There were 61,446 deer checked in during the opening weekend.

That's down 12 percent from last year's opener at 69,614.

"If you're out all day and you don't get one, then it's just another day.  You have to take advantage of what's around you and enjoy the outdoors," said Joe Bowling who proudly says he's been hunting deer since he was in middle school.

Bowling still hasn't had his first deer, but is eager to get back at it.

Bowling visits Clark's Custom Meats in St. Joseph not to process a kill, but to pick up frozen venison for charity.

He's a member of an organization called Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry (FHFH).

They are accepting donated deer from area hunters.

"We give it out to local food banks and pantries in the area," Bowling explains.  "Venison meat is a very nutritious thing.  All the pantries will agree that meat is the one thing they need the most of."

And even though the season began slowly, FHFH has already had a dozen deer donated to their efforts.

"I look forward to this every year," Bowling said.  "I know the good that it does with the meat we donate out, and how appreciative the people are that we donate the meat to."

Bowling hopes to make more trips to Clark's through the coming weeks, for kills of his own, and to pick up more meat for the hungry.

The two drop off places in St. Joseph to donate deer meet to FHFH are Clark's Custom Meats on US-59 south of town and prime meat company on US-169.
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