DNR urges Wisconsin hunters to donate deer to those in need

The DNR works with partnering meat processors to distribute the donated mean to Wisconsin food pantries.
Published: Nov. 1, 2021 at 4:04 PM CDT|Updated: Nov. 1, 2021 at 5:36 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is encouraging Wisconsin hunters to help support those in need this holiday season by donating Wisconsin-harvested deer to the department’s Deer Donation Program.

According to the DNR, approximately one in 12 Wisconsin households did not have enough food before the COVID-19 pandemic began in early 2020 and this number continues to rise.

The DNR works with partnering meat processors to distribute the donated meat to Wisconsin food pantries. Since their Deer Donation Program began in 2000, over 94,000 deer, equivalent to more than 3.8 million pounds of venison, has been distributed to Wisconsin food pantries.

“Whether by harvesting an extra deer or donating the only deer they shoot, Wisconsin hunters have the chance to support their communities during the holiday season,” said Sarah Wyrick, DNR Wildlife Damage Program Assistant. “We thank all deer hunters, meat processing and nonprofit partners who help make this program a success for those in need.”

How to donate Wisconsin-harvested deer: (according to Wis. DNR)

  1. Field dress your deer- handle the carcass with care.
  2. Register your deer through Game Reg- make a note of your registration confirmation numbers and keep it on hand with dropping off your dear.
  3. Test your deer for CWD if harvested from a CWD-affected county that requires testing before taking the deer to a processor.
  4. Call ahead- contact one of the participating processors before dropping off your deer to make sure they have space to accept it.
  5. Drop off your deer at a participating processor.

Those looking to support the program can also do so through a monetary donation when purchasing a hunting or fishing license or a Wisconsin State Park pass, the DNR said.

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