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Hunters can donate venison for distribution at Panola Food Pantry

By Rupert Howell

“Help the Herd” is back for the third year as donors have made it possible for hunters to donate deer to help Panola Food Pantry at no cost, according to Adrian Smith who has helped coordinate the event from its beginning.

Deer can be dropped off at Pitcock’s Meat Processing at 482 Liberty Hill Road east of Pope whose number is 563-9627.

Smith said hunters can drop off their fresh kill whole deer, whether does or cull bucks for processing. Delivery will be taken care of.

“Tell them you would like the deer, all or part, to go to Help the Herd,” Smith said.

The meat processor will accept whole deer according to Smith who also said cash donations will be accepted at First Security Bank to help defray processing costs. That number is 563-9311, ext. 1304.

Panola Food Bank Director Marie Leland said last year that the venison option is very popular with those who use the food bank to supplement their groceries and noted that it was sought long after the supply was depleted.

The program was based on national programs, but all donations and distribution is done locally to best serve local needs.

Overpopulation of deer continues to be a problem in many areas of Panola and surrounding counties with hunting clubs, private landowners, state and federal government alike attempting to improve or decrease populations by culling does and undesirable deer.

Local farmers lose an untold amount of income from the large deer population.

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