"Hunters are proud to tell me that they donated last year," says Rick Ellis, coordinator for Central Maryland's butcher shops.

Hunters like Justin Foster and Eric Brown, employees at Back 40 and two of the shop's most avid donators. Brown has brought in five deer for FHFH, while Foster has donated six this year.

"You're basically helping your neighbors and community," Brown said. "Hunters have a bad name just because we are killing stuff. And then to be able to give back through that, through hunting, is cool."

"It shows people we are out for more than just trophies," Foster adds.

As Back 40's evening processing is in full swing, the shop receives a call from two hunters looking to donate two does for FHFH.

The men, Sam Fletcher and Robert Poe, arrive within the hour, pulling up in their truck.

"I love the fact that the [needy] are going to get something to eat and enjoy," said Fletcher, who has donated before.

Poe, a first-time donator, has had a successful hunting season, something he has not been accustomed to in the past. For the first time he has a completely packed freezer at home.

"It's been good," Poe said. "So share the wealth."

Once the deer are unloaded from the truck bed and the proper forms filled out, there is nothing left to do but head home. Fletcher and Poe climb back into the truck and start the engine.

"That's a good thing we just did," Poe said.

ctrevino@baltsun.com