- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 27, 2002

How about a round of applause for Virginia's deer hunters. Hunters For the Hungry, an organization that every year helps provide nourishing protein for poor people by way of lean venison, says the state's deer hunters donated 233,499 pounds of the delectable meat during the recently concluded hunting season.
Now in its 10th consecutive year, the program saw deer hunters with the help of processors and distributors of the free venison exceed the goal of 225,000 pounds they hoped would be donated. In its founding year, 1991, 33,000 pounds of venison were donated and we remember distinctly how we then believed even that to be an astonishing amount.
Since it started, Hunters For the Hungry has collected 1.4million pounds of venison to provide more than 5.6million meals. The program accepts deer from hunters, then raises funds to cover the processing of the meat (each deer costs approximately $35 to cut up and package) and also distributes the venison through food banks, churches and agencies.
Incidentally, next time you meet animal rights activists ask them what they've done lately to help their fellow humans.
On a sad note, David Horne, 49, the founder and director of the Hunters For the Hungry group, headquartered in Big Island, Va., died recently after a long battle with cancer. Horne spent the past 19 years providing food for people in need. Before starting HFTH he was the general manager of the Society of St. Andrew, a nationwide product salvage organization.
Denny Quaiff, the executive director for the Virginia Deer Hunters Association, said, "David's commitment and dedication has been an inspiration to all of us who knew him. His work has touched many lives and created a high standard for others to follow. He will be greatly missed."
If you want to learn more about the HFTH, call 800/352-4868, or write Hunters For the Hungry, P.O. Box 304, Big Island, VA 24526. Donations are tax deductible.
Smallmouth bass anglers meet The Potomac River Smallmouth Club plays host to Susquehanna River guide and owner of Cabin Fever Tackle, Brook Hoover, tonight, 7:30, at the Vienna Fire Station's "Flame Room," 400 South Center Street, Vienna, Va. Hoover is an expert smallmouth fisherman and he has solid advice for fans of the "brown" fish. For additional information, call club president Jeff Kelble, 703/243-5389.
Decoy buy-sell-swap meet The East Coast Decoy Collectors want you to mark your calendars for an April 5-6 buy-sell-swap meet on Maryland's Eastern Shore. This fifth annual event will be at the St. Michaels Best Western motor inn. It is an open door, room-to-room, or parking lot set-up deal that will be held rain or shine. Two national auction houses take this opportunity to show preview decoys rooms for upcoming auctions and two periodicals that serve the decoy collecting community, Decoy Magazine and H&F; Collectibles, will have representatives. Free decoy identification and appraisals will be provided.
The ECDC is a 120-member organization that promotes decoy collecting and historical studies of duck, goose and shorebird decoys and their creators. For more details, call Jim Trimble 703/768-7264 or 302/539-4606; e-mail: [email protected]
A whopper pickerel The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission has certified two recent state record catches, including a whopper 8-pound, 14.8-ounce chain pickerel hooked by ice fisherman Dave Wilson of Honesdale, Pa. The old record, an 8-pounder, has stood since 1937. It was caught in Pike County. Wilson's monster pickerel came Jan.17 while he was using a tip-up baited with a minnow at Long Pond Lake in Wayne County. The fish measured 30 inches from the tip of its nose to the tail.
The other record, a 4-pound sauger, was hooked in the Susquehanna River in Lycoming County by Tim Waltz of Williamsport. Waltz caught the 21-inch cousin of the walleye late last year but it was just now certified as a record.

Look for Gene Mueller's Outdoors column every Sunday and Wednesday, and his Fishing Report every Friday, only in The Washington Times. E-mail: [email protected]

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