West Virginia Event Raises Money for Hunters Helping the Hungry
Preliminary figures for the recent Governor's One Shot Whitetail Deer Hunt show that the event grossed more than $73,000, according to Gov. Joe Manchin. The event, held Dec. 6 and 7 at Stonewall Resort State Park in Lewis County, has been held the past three years to raise money for the Division of Natural Resources' Hunters Helping the Hungry program (HHH). After expenses are deducted, DNR estimates that this year's One Shot event will be able to donate in excess of $50,000 to HHH. The first event in 2007 raised $17,000 and the second in 2008 raised $35,000.
"While I thought the goals set by the Governor's One Shot Committee were very ambitious by raising the amount by at least $15,000, but I am truly proud to say they have met and maybe even exceeded that target," Gov. Manchin said. "This is such a great event that helps so many people in need, and I cannot wait until next year's hunt."
This event began in 2007 when Gov. Manchin and other state governors participated in a One Shot Antelope event in Lander,Wyoming. He decided to bring that experience to West Virginia, where whitetail deer hunting opportunities are among the best in the East.
The HHH program allows hunters to donate legally-harvested deer to certified processors so the meat can be distributed to soup kitchens, food pantries, shelters, senior centers, missions, churches and community centers around the state. The HHH program has been highly successful since it began in 1992, providing more than 925,000 meals to the neediest of West Virginians. However, because of processing and distribution costs, the program also requires cash donations to benefit these needy individuals.
The One Shot event is sponsored by DNR and the One Shot Committee. Private individuals and businesses donate money for the opportunity to participate in guided antlerless deer hunts on private property near Stonewall Resort State Park and end the event with an award banquet featuring special guests like Brigadier General Charles E. "Chuck" Yeager, USAF Ret. All venison from the hunt, along with profits from the sponsorships, goes to HHH.
"While we want to thank all our dedicated volunteers for their hard work and time, it simply couldn't have happened without the generous support of the many corporations and individuals who are willing to put their money where their mouths are," said DNR Director Frank Jezioro. "They stepped up again this year and were overly generous in bidding on the many articles donated for auction at our event and purchasing the corporate tables for the banquet. Having different organizations underwrite most of the cost of the event enables us to give the major portion of the money raised directly to the HHH program."
Gov. Manchin and Director Jezioro also commended the landowners who allowed the participants to hunt on their property, providing not only a place to hunt, but also an opportunity to remove antlerless deer from overpopulated areas. Special thanks went to the many guides, who gave of their time to help the participants find the deer and assist with the harvest. They also thanked Gen. Yeager, who has attended all three One Shot events despite tremendous demands on his time, and whose presence is a tremendous boost for the event.
"We are already planning for next year's event," Jezioro said. "We have been contacted by new people and corporations that want to be part of next year's Governor's One Shot event for Hunters Helping the Hungry. At this time of giving there can be no greater gift than helping to feed less fortunate West Virginians."
More information about the HHH program can be found at www.wvdnr.gov/Hunting/HHH.shtm or by calling 304-558-2771.