Each year, hunters, meat processors, and food pantries help families in need by working closely with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and its partners to donate thousands of pounds of venison to food pantries.
The Deer Donation Program was established in the year 2000. Since then, more than 91,000 deer have been donated and more than 3.6 million pounds of venison have been processed and distributed to food pantries across the state.
“There are a couple ways hunters can help,” said Brad Koele, DNR Wildlife Damage Specialist. “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 ahead by knowing where participating processors are located and whether the deer needs to be tested for CWD. Hunters should also call the participating processor before dropping off a deer to make sure the processor is prepared to accept the deer.
For more information about the DNR’s deer donation program, visit dnr.wi.gov and search keywords “deer donation.”