Hunters donating to help the hungry

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MOUNT COBB, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — The first part of the archery season will come to an end on Friday, while rifle season will start the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

After a hunter bags a deer, they can decide whether they want to keep it or donate it.

Venison is getting cut at Smokin’ Joe’s Meats and Deli in Mount Cobb. Archery hunters are dropping deer off to get processed. Some are even donating their meat.

“For archery, I believe we are on track or a little bit ahead to hit our number from last year. So that is a good sign,” said Joe Dombrowski who is the owner of Smokin’ Joe’s Meat and Deli.

Dombrowski has been part of “Hunters Sharing the Harvest” for nearly a decade. Last year hunters donated 4,000 pounds of venison to Dombrowski’s shop in Jefferson Township.

“We’re getting more donations earlier this year. I’ve talked with a lot of guys that are out hunting archery and the first deer they get, they want to donate,” said Dombrowski.

One deer donated is 200 meals and last year 200,000 meals were given to local food banks.

In 2019 Eyewitness News showed you the pantry at Hamlin Assembly of God, which is just one of the recipients of the Hunters Sharing the Harvest program. The church’s pantry is in its fourth year with the program. On average the venison helps 120 people a month and provides a healthy meal for families.

Processors are anticipating a busier rifle season as does are able to be killed during the entire two-week season compared to just one week in previous years.

“The processors maybe might not have the ability to handle the amount of kill,” said Dombrowski.

There can always be room for a donation. Venison donations will be accepted through the end of the deer hunting season which ends in mid-January.

To learn more about how to donate your venison visit sharedeer.org.

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