Michigan deer hunters feed record number of families with venison donations

Food banks, shelters benefit from major jump; enough meat for 233,420 meals statewide

Michigan deer hunters hit the bull’s-eye in 2019, donating a record amount of venison to feed hungry families across the state.

Newly released data shows hunters donated 58,355 pounds of venison last year to Michigan Sportsmen Against Hunger (MSAH), an all-volunteer organization that partners with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, the Food Bank Council of Michigan, homeless shelters, food pantries, meat processors and deer hunters to help prevent hunger.

That’s nearly 12% more venison than the previous year and enough meat to provide 233,420 meals.

“Michigan hunters who have donated deer to feed the hungry of our state continue a practice going back to settlement days when hunters provided for those who could not provide for themselves,” said Dean Hall, MSAH executive director. “We are so grateful to all hunters who stepped up and shared their harvest.”

In Michigan, 16% of households are struggling to put food on the table and 21% of children don’t know where their next meal will come from, according to the Food Bank Council of Michigan.

Hall applauded the Michigan Wildlife Council for its part in heightening awareness of the venison donation program. The council is dedicated to increasing public knowledge about the role hunters and anglers play in funding water, woods and wildlife management in Michigan.

“Sportsmen not only help protect and enhance Michigan’s great outdoors, but they also clearly lend a hand when their neighbors are in need,” said Matt Pedigo, chair of the Michigan Wildlife Council, which was established in 2013 to educate the public about the importance of wildlife management and how hunting and fishing aid that work.

Since MSAH’s creation in 1991, hunters have donated over 746,005 pounds of ground venison – enough meat to serve close to 3 million meals in every region of the state.

In addition, most of the nonprofit’s funding comes from hunters and anglers.

Michigan legislators in 2005 established the Sportsmen Against Hunger Fund, which cleared the way for sportsmen and women to make monetary donations to the food program when purchasing hunting and fishing licenses. Since then, nearly $800,000 has been donated and used to reimburse meat processors who grind the venison into burger and ship it to food banks and pantries.

All game donations stay in the area where they are processed to feed the needy in nearby communities.


Library of Michigan Announces 2020 Michigan Notable Book Awards

The celebrated literature on this year’s list of Michigan Notable Books encompasses the entire Great Lakes basin from the far reaches of the Upper Peninsula to stories about Detroit; and even cookery from the west side of Michigan.

The Library of Michigan shared that this year’s list of 20 titles reflects the rich stories and culture of our state. Each year, the Michigan Notable Book (MNB) list features 20 books published during the previous calendar year that are about, or set in Michigan; or are written by a Michigan author.

Selections include a variety of genres, both fiction and nonfiction, that appeal to many audiences and explore topics and issues close to the hearts of Michigan residents. The 2020 list includes titles exploring: the Red Scare of the 1950’s; the bankruptcy of Detroit; the life of Aretha Franklin; and the Anishinaabe Sharpshooters of the Civil War.

MNB is a statewide program that began as part of the 1991 Michigan Week celebration, designed to pay tribute and draw attention to the many people, places, and things that make Michigan life unique and vibrant.

“The Michigan Notable Books selections clearly demonstrate the rich subject matter Michigan offers to writers,” said State Librarian Randy Riley. “Everyone will find something of interest that speaks to their lives or experiences in our great state.”

This year’s MNB selection committee included representatives from the Library of Michigan; the Library of Michigan Foundation; Detroit Public Library; Howard Miller Public Library in Zeeland; Clinton-Macomb District Library; Capital Area District Libraries; Salem-South Lyon District Library; Cooley Law School; Lansing City Pulse newspaper; Michigan’s State Historic Preservation Office; Wayne State University; Michigan Department of Education; Michigan Center for the Book; and Michigan Humanities.

For more information or questions about the Michigan Notable Book program, contact the Library of Michigan at 517-373-1300, visit www.michigan.gov/notablebooks, or email librarian@michigan.gov.


A Look Back Again – 1955 Science Club
by Barry Bauer


From left to right: Doug Austin, Gary Light, Tom Beecher, Bob Root, Stanley Carpenter and Sid Galloway.

This photo was taken of some of the members of the Science Club in the Physics Room at Rodney B. Wilson High School in 1955.

A photo of the entire Science Club appears in the 1955 RBW yearbook.


Letters – Oakview students visit Capitol

More than 50 Oakview South Elementary School students traveled to Lansing to learn about Michigan and its beautiful Capitol building.

I hope the kids enjoyed their tour. I love taking them to the House floor.

State Representative Graham Filler


Maralyn’s Pet Corner – Can Dogs Have Panic Attacks?
courtesy of Dr. Wailani Sung, MS, PhD, DVM, DACVB

Anticipating a fearful or negative experience with certain people, objects, animals, or situations can lead to anxiety.

But when does anxiety veer into panic? Can dogs have panic attacks? Here’s everything you need to know about panic attacks in dogs.

Can Dogs Experience Panic Attacks?

Dogs can certainly experience panic attacks, similar to people. People who suffer from panic attacks report a sudden feeling of intense fear.

They may experience a physiological response, such as an elevated heart rate. They may also sweat, tremble, be nauseous, and have a headache.

Usually, there is no specific trigger, but the panic attack can occur during times of high stress.

How Can We Tell If a Dog Is Having a Panic Attack?

Of course we cannot ask a dog how they feel, but we can look for the signs of panic, such as:

– Sudden panting
– Pacing
– Trembling
– Excessive salivation
– Looking for a place to hide
– Seeking their owner’s attention in a frantic manner
– Pawing or jumping up on their owner
– Digging in the bed, closet, or bathroom
– Vomiting
– Gastrointestinal upset (immediate defecation or diarrhea, for example)
– Urinating

One of my canine patients who was experiencing panic pulled out the drawer under the oven and tried to hide in the opening.

How to Tell the Difference Between Anxiety, Phobias, and Panic Attacks in Dogs

Is your dog having anxiety, suffering from a phobia, or having a panic attack?

Phobias vs. Panic Attacks in Dogs

How we distinguish a phobia from a panic attack is based on a presence of a trigger. If there is a specific trigger that elicits those intense reactions from your dog, then it may be classified as a phobia.

People with phobias have described it as experiencing an irrational fear of something. This feeling can be similar in dogs.

The trigger can be a sound, person, object, location, or situation. Many dogs experience phobias to thunderstorms and fireworks.

Usually there is no trigger that causes the panic attack in a dog.

Dog Anxiety vs. Panic Attacks

So what about anxiety?

Anxiety comes when your dog is dreading a specific event or situation. The anticipated threat can be real or perceived.

An example is a dog showing signs of anxiety before a vet trip. They have picked up on the cues that they are going to the vet, and become anxious about the encounter. Some signs of anxiety in dogs include:

– Panting
– Pacing
– Vocalizing
– Eliminating inappropriately or involuntarily
– Soliciting attention from their owners
– Pulling ears back against their head with the head lowered and tail hanging down or tucked under the abdomen

Tips For Helping Dogs Cope With Panic Attacks

Dogs that experience panic attacks should receive a thorough physical examination from their veterinarian. Diagnostic tests may be performed to rule out any medical causes for the reactions.

Provide Plenty of Exercise and Mental Stimulation

Pet owners should also make sure they provide plenty of physical and mental exercise for their dogs—as long as their veterinarian approves the level of exercise.

A minimum of a 15-20 minute walk and/or 15-20 minutes of play every day can reduce a dog’s stress levels.

Providing your dogs with puzzle toys to work for their meals can also help stimulate and tire out their brain.

Short training sessions can be helpful to keep your dog mentally occupied as well.

Offer Comfort to Your Dog During a Panic Attack

If your dog is having a panic attack and he comes to you for attention, you can pet, hug, or hold him if that helps ease the signs of his panic.

Depending on how intense the episode is, you can try to:

Distract and redirect your dog to play with toys

Take your dog for a walk

Practice basic dog obedience cues or tricks for high value-treats

Other dogs may enjoy being pet, brushed, or massaged by their owners.

You should also provide a place for your dog to hide. Play calming classical music and make sure the space is free of external stimulants (house traffic, other pets, etc.). You can also use dog pheromone sprays or plug-in diffusers to help reduce anxiety in that location.

Look Into Supplements or Medication to Help Manage Your Dog’s Panic Attacks

Some dogs may benefit from the use of natural supplements such as l-theanine or l-tryptophan. Both are ingredients that have a calming effect on animals.

However, if your dog experiences intense panic attacks, where they are hurting themselves by trying to jump through windows or chewing or digging through the walls, they need to see their veterinarian to have antianxiety medications prescribed for them.

Antianxiety medication can be used as needed. In some cases, a pet may benefit from a daily maintenance medication to keep them calmer overall.

If your dog is experiencing panic attacks on a regular basis, then the maintenance medication can help them cope with these episodes. It may also reduce the frequency and duration of the panic attacks.

Avoid Punishing Your Dog

Just like with humans, getting angry at someone who is experiencing panic will rarely resolve the issue. In most cases, it will only make it worse.

So, yelling at your dog, spraying them with water, forcing them to lie down, or using a shock collar is not going to help a dog that’s experiencing a panic attack.

These techniques will only increase fear and anxiety. Your dog cannot control their emotions or physiological responses in these scenarios. If they could control themselves and choose another option, they probably would.

No one who has experienced a panic attack reported that it was a pleasant experience and wanted to experience another. Your dog needs your love and support to help them through their time of need.