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How did your group get started? The Arizona Mule Deer Association formed in 1996. In 2002, we changed our name to the Arizona Deer Association (ADA), to better reflect our interest in conserving and enhancing all of Arizona’s deer populations.
What is ADA’s purpose? ADA is a nonprofit conservation organization dedicated to improving habitat and expanding Arizona’s mule deer and Coues white-tailed deer herds. We raise funds from members, the public, and private sources to support efforts that directly benefit Arizona’s deer herds and their habitats.
How many members do you have? 550
What does ADA do? We work on projects such as habitat improvement, piñon pine and juniper removal, water developments and fire restoration. We also fund research projects, like the one currently being conducted on the Kaibab Forest. We work closely with the department to identify and implement these projects and to monitor their progress.
While the conservation spotlight is shining on ADA, what would you like to say? We are the largest and most active association in Arizona dedicated to preserving Arizona’s whitetail and muley populations. All funds raised by ADA stay in Arizona, where they directly benefit our herds. Over the years, we have raised over $1.5 million through the special tag program and other fundraising efforts (such as our annual banquet).
How can people reach you? Call 602-395-3337 or visit azdeer.org.
Arizona chapter, Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry
By Kerry Ketchum, regional coordinator for FHFH and executive director of Northern Arizona Food Bank
How did your group get started? I saw a television show about Rick Wilson, the founder of a national organization called Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry (FHFH), in 2000. The idea of hunters donating game meat to provide high-quality protein to the needy in our home communities got me so excited that I started our own program right away. I also began to research FHFH and other similar national programs, and eventually decided that what Arizona needed was a state chapter of the national FHFH program. They provide great organizational support.
What is your group’s purpose? We work with hunters, ranchers, farmers and meat processors throughout the state to offer big game and domestic donated meats to people in need in our local communities. The Arizona chapter of FHFH has been going for more than four years now.
How do people get involved in FHFH? Any hunter can donate legally taken game meat. We work with meat processors to advertise the program. The hunter fills out an authorization form, which is mailed to us. We send a donation receipt and a thank you letter for participating in the program. It’s as easy as that.
What does FHFH do? Some hunters donate meat because they realize that the deer or elk they took may be too much meat for their family to eat. Others donate just to extend the ancient tradition of hunters feeding their communities. Nobody wants to see meat go to waste; we work to ensure that it doesn’t. In the past four years, we’ve had 18,723 pounds of game meat donated—that’s almost 75,000 quarter-pound servings offered here in Arizona.
While the conservation spotlight is shining on FHFH, what would you like to say? It’s one thing for a food bank to offer beans and bread; it’s another to give people a serving of delicious wild game meat… now, that’s a meal. As the program grows, we are always looking for more processors, and for people interested in serving on our advisory board or setting up local chapters and affiliates. We invite all hunters to participate and extend the hunting tradition of sharing game meat with the community.