SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU)- It’s deer season for Siouxland hunters and members of the Sioux City Elks Lodge are reminding hunters of a special program that puts deer hides to good use.
It’s been a tradition for the Elks for more than 20 years. It gives our local veterans an opportunity to give back to those who were injured serving their country.
“It doesn’t cost us really to do this, just our time and effort,” said Scott Haberer, a member of the Sioux City Elks Lodge.
Haberer has been a member of the Elks for seven years. He says the Veterans Leather program is made possible by Siouxland hunters.
“It’s just a way to give back, and a lot of people when they have gotten their deer they don’t have a use for the hide. Bring it down to us. We will make sure it goes to a good cause, ” said Haberer.
Last year, deer hunters donated 4.300 deer hides to Elks Lodges across Iowa. This was an increase of over 1,000 hides compared to 2017.
“We get such great support from Sioux City. The hunters in the area bring their hides to us we just got a hide this morning from a hunter in South Dakota, so we get it from all around. It’s great,” said Haberer.
The Veterans Leather Gloves program starts with cleaning the hides of fat and excess meat. Then the hides are salted down to be preserved for the next step.
“Pack up the barrel and ship it off to a tannery and then springtime comes they will take it from there and turn them into these gloves that the VA will hand out to disabled veterans,” said Lyn Armentrout, a member of the Sioux City Elks Lodge.
Armentrout says this project is a token of her appreciation to those who make the ultimate sacrifice for our country.
“It’s like the least we can do for our veterans. You know they deserve it and if it provides a little bit of comfort to them then great that’s what we want to do,” said Armentrout.
Right now, the Sioux City Elks Lodge has 22 hides that have been donated. By the end of January, they’re hoping that number will jump to at least 200.
If you would like to donate, the drop-off bin is behind the building. The Elks Lodge address is 1001 Tri View Ave Sioux City, IA 51103.