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Deer Exchange returns to Nebraska in 2009

From the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission

-- Hunters again will be able to provide deer meat this fall to anyone willing to accept it, according to the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.

The Deer Exchange is back after a successful debut in 2008. Participants may begin signing up Sept. 1.

“We would like to increase the number of deer donated in 2009, as we had many people who wished to receive deer in 2008 that did not get one,” said Kit Hams, big game program manager with the Commission.

An ample deer population is available to hunters but also more hunting opportunities.

“A record deer harvest of more than 80,000 deer is expected this year,” Hams said. “We will issue nearly 90,000 bonus antlerless tags in an effort to thin the whitetail population, especially in eastern Nebraska.”

The Deer Exchange is designed to accommodate the additional harvest of deer. Hunters who have filled their freezers may still bag a deer and have somewhere to take the meat.

Other benefits of the program include

       -- Venison is a good source of protein in a diet

       -- The interaction will increase communication between hunters and non-hunters

       -- Opportunities exist to recruit new hunters

Donors and recipients of deer meat may register for free at ngpc.state.ne.us/hunting/programs/deerexchange/. They may search a database for participants in their area, then make contact by telephone to set up the transfer of deer meat. Deer meat may not be sold.

The recipient may accept field dressed deer, skinned and boned deer, or wrapped and frozen deer meat. The donor is responsible for properly field dressing and checking the deer before transfer.

The Commission is not responsible for the quality of the meat or failure of the donor or recipient to follow through with the transfer. The agency provides the necessary transfer cards online.

Venison has many nutritional benefits. According to nutritiondata.com, 100 grams of ground, pan-broiled venison has 187 calories, compared to 246 for the same portion of 80-percent lean pan-broiled ground beef. Venison has 26.5 grams of protein, compared to beef’s 24, and 8.2 grams of total fat to beef’s 15.9. Venison also is low in sodium.

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