Do you know that Missouri deer hunters have been lending a hand, and gloves, to disabled veterans across the country for years? Those hunters have donated thousands of raw deer skins to Elks Lodges around the state, and the Elks then turn those hides into comfortable fingerless gloves for veterans who use wheelchairs.
Byron Moore, a leading knight at the Bolivar Elks Lodge, said Missouri hunters last year donated 4,729 deer hides for the national Elks Lodge’s veterans-glove program. He hopes hunters donate 5,000 hides this year. “It usually starts with bow season, and we let hunters know they can bring the hides they don’t want to the lodge and drop them off,” Moore said. “We pay for all the tanning and it’s totally free to the veteran. It doesn’t cost the government or veterans anything.”
He encouraged hunters who want to donate deer hides to call their local lodge first. Go to Elks.org, type in a ZIP code and it will bring up the nearest lodge’s address and phone number.”And if there are any disabled veterans out there who want a pair of these gloves, just call us and we’ll make sure you get them,” Moore said.
The Elks Lodge deerskin program began in 1948 in California, and now Elks Lodges in 18 states — including 75 Elks Lodges in Missouri — participate in the program today.
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