Hides for Heroes a success
Hunters donate deer hides to program
By Holly Neumann
With deer hunting season now complete, so is the work of local volunteers that give their time to Hides for Heroes.
The organization collects deer hides to show their support to hometown heroes and military veterans.
“My dad served and so did my brother,” said Dave Hintz, founder of the organization. “This my way of giving back to our combat wounded heroes.”
Approximately 30 volunteers, along with hunters, help make the program a success.
“We could not do it without them,” said Halden Collins, president of the organization. “It’s not an easy job and the weather can be brutal at times.”
Collins added the importance of the group’s sponsors.
“Without them, this will not happen,” he said. “The sponsors that sponsor a hide box at their business, the sponsors that sponsor the Hides for Heroes truck and that help pay for our fuel and salt. We have also teamed up with Miron Construction in Appleton, which sponsors a scholarship each year to a deserving senior.”
Once the nearly 5,000 hides are collected, each one is graded for its size.
“We have what we call big hides and small,” Collins said. “We then lay each hide out on a skid with skin side up and proceed to salt them down.”
Three to four pounds of salt is used on each hide, with 60 hides per skid.
At the end, the hides are sold to a fur buyer and they go to Italy and or China, where they get made into gloves, shoes, purses and other items.
Funds raised benefit Camp Hackett near Phillips, which offers hometown heroes and military veterans a place to trophy white-tailed deer, black bear, ruffed grouse, woodcock and Canada geese and also fish for musky.
“The best part of all this is we get the opportunity to meet with some of the heroes up at Camp Hackett,” Collins said. “It’s very humbling and gratifying to say the least. It’s just a good feeling knowing we are making a difference in the lives of others.”