For the first time in Tennessee, a velvet hunt was offered to eager outdoorsmen.
A Rare Opportunity
The special weekend in late August gave archery hunters the opportunity to harvest bucks still in velvet—a rare opportunity that was well received by the hunting community.
It was on that three-day weekend, nearly a month before the regular archery deer season opener, that the first Hunters for the Hungry donations were made.
A good friend of ours, Tim Tower of Putnam County, made the very first donation of the season. He harvested one buck that weekend—half his season limit—and donated it to the program without hesitation.
“I knew that by that time in the year, the wells of the food banks had run dry. They need the meat. It was an easy decision to donate that deer,” said Tim.
It’s a matter of principle for Tim. He and his family usually plan to donate at least every other animal they harvest. And often more. Tim is looking forward to a doe-only quota hunt he has planned with family in December in Oak Ridge.
Already, they’ve decided to make this a Hunters for the Hungry hunt, which could bring as many as 15 deer to the program.
Not only has Tim donated deer to Hunters for the Hungry since 2008, but he also serves as the Putnam and Overton County Coordinator for the program.
Tim knows the Federation’s many programs well. In addition to his work with Hunters for the Hungry, Tim is also a Hunt Master with our Hunting and Fishing Academy. So far, he’s served as a Hunt Master on three youth hunts and has been involved with several others.
He’s introduced nearly 100 youth and their parents to the great outdoors.
Additionally, Tim volunteers his time at Hunt Master trainings—growing the volunteer pool and providing more opportunities for participants to get outdoors.
“To me, this is about getting the kids out there—getting them away from all the distractions of the world and out in nature—so they can slow down,” said Tim. “When I was a kid, hunting is what kept me out of trouble. I was focused on getting out there on Saturday morning, not partying and staying up late on Friday nights.”
“Because of supporters like Tim, the Federation’s programs are thriving. His generosity of time, deer, outdoor knowledge, and financial support show how there is an opportunity for anyone to contribute to the Federation and its mission to conserve Tennessee’s wildlife.”Matt Simcox, Hunters for the Hungry Manager
To learn more about the program and how you can get involved, including where to donate a deer, visit tnwf.org/HFTH.
Feature photo by Kellie Sharpe