(WAUPACA, WI) Nov. 11, 2016 — A love of hunting and a commitment to support veterans has prompted a Waupaca man to donate deer hides to the Wounded Warriors in Action Foundation. Since 2012, Dave Hintz has donated $14,000 through his Hides 4 Heroes project thanks to a partnership with Waupaca Foundry and regional hunters. In 2015, Hintz collected 780 deer hides from harvests throughout Wisconsin and this year, he hopes to break records.
During the Wisconsin bow and gun deer seasons, Hintz sets up hide collection locations throughout the Northeastern, Central and Northern Wisconsin regions. He volunteers his time to collect and cure the hides, and then sells them to a broker. The funds raised are donated to Camp Hackett near Phillips, Wisconsin where veterans participate in outdoor sporting activities designed to help heal mental and physical wounds from active duty.
Hintz was inspired to support veterans when he met Matt Tennessen while hunting in northern Wisconsin. Tennessen was wounded in 2009 from an IED blast while serving in Afghanistan and his stories of recovery impressed Hintz who decided to get involved.
“I wanted to give back,” Hintz said. “When Matt told me his story and how the Wounded Warriors in Action Foundation helped veterans, I knew this was something I could do. Most guys throw their hides away, and I knew they could be useful.” A life-long hunter, Hintz had a side business of butchering deer during the hunting season and knew there was a market for cured hides. Last year, many of the hides he collected ended up in Italy and were used to make boots and purses.
Hintz contacted his employer, Waupaca Foundry, to help with the project. The gray and ductile iron foundry donates collection boxes and nearly 2,000 pounds of salt Hintz uses to cure the hides each season. Hintz has worked at Waupaca Foundry for 27 years and said the company’s support is gratifying.
Waupaca Foundry has a history of supporting veterans’ causes and in 2015 was awarded the Patriot Award for employer support of the National Guard or Reserve. Additionally, the foundry employs many veterans and active duty guards men and women; nationwide, approximately 11% of the Foundry’s 4,400 workers are veterans of the armed services.
“We find that skills learned in military service translate directly to the work environment,” said Joey Leonard, executive vice president of human resources. “Veterans put direct experience in leadership, responsibility, teamwork and many other attributes to work for us daily and we are honored to support causes that support veterans.”
Hintz will be collecting deer hides through January 13, 2017 and hides may be dropped off at these participating locations:
Waupaca/Weyauwega, WI Area
Waupaca Foundry, 406 N. Division St., Waupaca
Waupaca Foundry, 1955 Brunner Drive, Waupaca
Chain BP, King
JR's Sports Shop, Iola
Depo Street Station, Iola
Scandy "C" Store, Scandinavia
Sand Burr Corners, Ogdensburg
The Cenex, Weyauwega
Sun Set BP, Weyauwega
Machow Sports, Wild Rose
Little Falls Feed Mill, Little Falls
Cenex CHS Larsen Coop, Wild Rose
Tomorrow River BP, Amherst
Critters Sports Shop, Winneconne
Ma's Bait & Tackle, Fremont
Phillips, WI Area