Part of the Solution: Why My Husband Hunts

It’s deer season here in Indiana. In fact, it’s muzzle loader season. And November was gun season, which was preceded by Fall gun turkey season. Due to my husband’s love for, um, this stuff, I know more about guns and hunting than I ever cared to, and our girls are learning even more. Our oldest daughter Ella, for example, filled in the ad lib blanks of a Father’s Day letter at school with “My dad teaches me… about guns.” The ensuing weeks found us nervously looking over both shoulders, expecting CPS to show up any day.

Let me tell you, gun education is every pacifist mother’s dream for her girls.

Anyway, while we’re talking about a mother’s dream for her children, and hunting, I’d like to mention that one dream that all parental units share is the desire to feed their children. Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry, an “outreach ministry of the people of God called upon to feed venison to the hungry among us nationwide,” combines the two.

Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry organizes meat processing sites that accept donated game, such as deer and elk. The meat processing costs are covered by donations from churches and other organizations. Then, food pantries or other programs can pick up the meat, free of charge, for distribution or meal preparation.

Startling statistics regarding children and hunger listed on their website drive the organization in its mission:
  • One in Five children live at or below the poverty line

  • 9 million children are the recipients of food from a pantry, kitchen, or shelter

  • Fresh meat is one of the hardest commodities to acquire due to its high cost ($3 - $5 per pound). It is also more difficult to donate frozen meat.

  • Children who are undernourished have trouble concentrating and bonding with other children and are more likely to suffer illnesses that force them to be absent from school.
  • Venison is low in fat, naturally nutritious and costs about $.25 per serving

  • One deer can feed 200 hundred hungry people
Bjoern, being the avid hunter that he is, discovered Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry at an Outdoor Expo DNR booth. Moved by the ability to be a part of the solution and fill so many bellies by just doing what he loves, he knew he had found his niche. Ever since, he has worked to inform other hunters about the organization, with the hopes to mobilize and inspire others to combine sport and goodwill.

The weather here in Indiana has been great for hunters. There’s something about the cold, crisp air that brings out the deer. I don’t understand the joy in intentionally sitting out in the freezing temperatures, but Bjoern seems to get something emotional, perhaps even spiritual, out of the endless silence and squirrels, no matter if he gets anything or not (Bjoern only shoots if he is absolutely sure he is precisely accurate and we will eat it). But this year he did get something. And, rather than processing the deer for our own venison spaghetti sauce or gulasch purposes, he donated it at a local, participating butcher. I think Bjoern felt that it was an offering of sorts, like tithing the first fruits of his harvest.

Maybe Ella will write about that in her next ad lib Father’s Day letter?

This column is intended be a place where we can come together and share our knowledge - our facts and our experiences - to empower and encourage one another into action. Let’s learn together how we can be a part of the solution in dismantling our world’s unjust systems of oppression. So, if you’ve got something we ought to know, send your facts and story, in 800 words or less, to reviews@burnsidewriterscollective.com.

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