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Bill Burkett, coordinator for the Ashe County Wildlife Club’s association with N.C. Hunters for the Hungry, hopes Ashe County hunters feel the holiday spirit and continue hunting once they fill their own freezers this year. For the 10th year the Wildlife Club is sponsoring N.C. Hunters for the Hungry.

“I hope that is a good sign that hunters are now fully aware of this program that provides free protein-rich meals for the needy in Ashe County,” said Burkett.

N.C. Hunters for the Hungry is a charitable program where hunters who harvest deer can take them to Joe’s Place, a meat processor at 638 Friendship Baptist Church Road in Jefferson. The processor dresses the deer at a steep discount since the processed meat goes to feed the needy. The meat is ground up like hamburger in 2-pound packages and distributed to four organizations in the county that give away the wrapped meat to needy families.

“N.C. Hunters for the Hungry depends on two types of folks. We need hunters who have already filled their own freezers with deer to continue hunting, and to donate those extra deer to the program. We also need folks who want to support the needy in their community by making financial donations to process the meat so it can be given away,” said Burkett.

The organizations that get the meals are Ashe Really Cares, Ashe Outreach Ministries and Camp New Hope. Each deer yields about 40-50 pounds of meat. If just 100 deer are donated in Ashe County that would yield more than two tons of deer meat that will be consumed this winter by needy families. That amounts to more than 2,000 meals given away free to needy families.

“There are a lot of winners with Hunters for the Hungry. Needy families will get the protein they need. Hunters will get to extend their hunting season. People who drive on the roads will be less likely to hit a roaming deer if it has already been harvested. Ashe County residents wanting to donate to a local charity will know that their donation stays right in the county and 100 percent of it will be put to a good cause,” Burkett said.

For more details on the club, membership or how to join, visit or search on Facebook for Ashe County Wildlife Club.

To learn more about Hunters for the Hungry, call Bill Burkett at (336) 977-3888 or E.T. Weaver at (336) 977-2490.

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