Each year, hunters, meat processors and food pantries help families in need by working closely with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and its partners to donate thousands of pounds of venison to Wisconsin food pantries.
“Whether it is harvesting an extra deer or donating the only deer they shoot, Wisconsin hunters have historically shown their willingness to help others by donating deer to the Deer Donation Program,” said Sarah Wyrick, DNR wildlife damage program assistant. “As deer hunters begin preparations for this hunting season, we encourage them to consider the Deer Donation Program.”
Since Wisconsin’s Deer Donation Program first began in 2000, more than 92,000 deer have been donated, totaling more than 3.7 million pounds of venison distributed to food pantries across the state.
“There are a couple of ways hunters can help,” said Wyrick. “Hunters can donate a deer at one of the participating meat processors, or when they purchase a hunting license, they can make a monetary donation to help cover venison processing costs.”
Hunters are advised to plan for their donation by locating a participating processor and having their deer tested for CWD. Hunters should also call the participating processor before dropping off deer to make sure the processor is prepared to accept the deer.
The DNR thanks all deer hunters and meat processors that have participated in the deer donation program throughout the years.
Visit the DNR website to learn about the DNR’s deer donation program and how to help, as well as find a list of participating meat processors and CWD sampling requirements.