- Associated Press - Thursday, February 6, 2014

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The amount of venison donated by Missouri deer hunters to help feed the hungry dipped to its lowest point in several years.

The Missouri Department of Conservation says 4,487 deer hunters donated a little more than 227,000 pounds of meat in 2013 through the state’s Share the Harvest program.

Those figures were the lowest totals for the program since 2009.

The Share the Harvest program works with meat processors to prepare donated venison for distribution to food banks and pantries around the state.

The decline in donated deer meat may be attributable to a smaller deer harvest. Missouri hunters killed more than 252,000 deer last year. That was the lowest number in at least a decade.

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