Governor Jay Nixon is urging Missouri hunters to donate their deer to the needy this season. The Share the Harvest program lets hunters donate part or all of their deer to participating meat processors. Last year, more than 6,200 deer were donated. Nixon says the Conservation Federation has room to accept 10,000 this year, and he’s hoping to meet that goal … or, as he put it, “hit that target.”

Nixon quipped that he needed to replenish his supply of shotgun shells after quail season during the promotion stop at Bass Pro in Columbia, but said he had many more places to drive that day. Nixon shot a deer last year in Pulaski County, which he donated to the Share the Harvest program.

Food banks and pantries throughout the state distribute the donated venison to families in need. The Conservation Federation of Missouri helps offset the cost of processing the deer.

For more on how to donate your deer, or how to receive venison through the program, go here.

AUDIO: Gov. Jay Nixon and Dave Murphy, Conservation Federation (8:00)