WASHINGTON (KDKA) – The wide open spaces of Washington County are ideal habitat for deer and hunters alike.

On the first day of buck season, a steady stream of trucks rolled into Shuba’s Deer Processing in Washington, where Steve Shuba continues a 50 year family tradition.

Shuba’s processed about a thousand deer last hunting season. Based on those figures, about ten percent of the hunters will eventually donate their venison to needy people in the county. It’s part of a statewide program called “Hunters Sharing the Harvest.”

“For those that are needy, that can’t afford it,” Suba says, “it’s a good way for the hunters who don’t really need all that meat, or they just want to donate some of it.”

Donating hunters pay a 20 dollar fee, the venison is then ground, and then transported to the Greater Washington County Food Bank. Entering the meat cooler, executive director Lisa Nuccetelli says timing couldn’t be better.

“As you can see, we’re pretty low right now with all of our pantries moved out before Thanksgiving. There is a lot of room for venison.”

She says protein sources are more difficult to obtain than fruits and vegetables.

“It only stretches so far. So with the venison that we get in, it provides another protein on the table for our families. This has given them the opportunity of getting the venison that they grew up on. And it’s considered a treat.”

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