Howard County donates venison from managed deer shoot to food bank

ELLICOTT CITY, Md. - Those who rely on the Howard County Food Bank will now have some additional food available to them.

That's because the Howard County Department of Recreation & Parks is donating hundreds of pounds of venison processed from its managed deer sharpshooting program.

"The department's annual sharpshooting program held each fall and winter, helps to maintain a stable, balanced white-tailed deer population on county lands where deer browsing has been shown to reduce biodiversity," said Howard County Recreation & Parks Director John R. Byrd in a statement. "We're pleased to be partnering with the CAC Food Bank to provide a healthy local source of meat and protein for needy County residents." 

According to county officials, the managed deer sharpshooting program has generated more than 3,000 pounds of venison annually, which has been donated to non-profits for food distribution. The venison was processed and packaged in Westminster prior to being distributed.

"Community Action Council's Food Bank serves more than 22,000 individuals annually," said Community Action Council president Bita Dayhoff in a statment. "This generous donation provides yet another healthy food option to families who are struggling and would otherwise not be able to afford to purchase healthy and fresh food products. We estimate that more than 800 families will be helped by this donation."

To learn more about the county's deer management program, visit

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