SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. - As many West Virginians take to the field during the annual deer hunting seasons, they gain more than just an enjoyable day with family and friends. Many will successfully harvest a deer and fill their freezers with an ample amount of “heart-healthy” venison.
“Venison is an excellent alternative to beef for those concerned with healthier choices in their diet,” said Curtis I. Taylor, chief of the Wildlife Resources Section of the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (DNR). “Venison is a healthy source of protein for many West Virginia families and has fewer calories and less fat than an equivalent serving of beef. With the changes in the 2013 deer harvest regulations, hunters this fall will have additional opportunities to harvest a deer.”
After the harvest, hunters can ensure their venison cuts will be the best quality and flavor if they take a few simple steps in caring for their game. Meat should not be exposed to excessive dirt or moisture and should be cooled as quickly as possible to avoid spoilage.
Hunters are not the only West Virginians who benefit from deer harvested in the state. Over the past two decades, DNR has sponsored the Hunters Helping the Hungry (HHH) program. Since its inception in 1992, hunter-donated venison has provided more than 1.1 million meals for needy West Virginia families. For more information about the HHH program or West Virginia’s various deer hunting seasons and regulations, consult the 2013-2014 West Virginia Hunting and Trapping Regulations Summary
available at all DNR offices and license agents or visit the DNR website at www.wvdnr.gov
Curtis Taylor, Wildlife Resources Section Chief