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Contact information
For information on the Deer Donation Program, contact:
Noah Balgooyen
Wildlife damage biologist
Bureau of Wildlife Management
608-266-2151

Wisconsin deer donation

The deer donation program will be continuing Wisconsin's autumn tradition of helping those in need. Since the program began in 2000, hunters have donated over 90,000 deer which were processed into over 3.6 million pounds of ground venison.

Donation throughout the state

Wisconsin has a network of venison donation partners including: county land and water conservation departments, food pantries, charitable organizations, Hunt for the Hungry, USDA - Wildlife Services and participating processors who all help implement and administer the program.

Chronic wasting disease affected counties

Deer taken within the 18 CWD-affected counties [PDF] of Adams, Columbia, Crawford, Dane, Grant, Green, Iowa, Jefferson, Juneau, Kenosha, Lafayette, Portage, Racine, Richland, Rock, Sauk, Walworth and Waukesha must be donated to processors within those counties. Processors outside of the counties listed are not allowed to accept deer that were harvested within these counties.

  • All adult deer harvested in Adams, Crawford, Grant, Green, Jefferson, Juneau, Kenosha, Lafayette, Portage, Racine and Waukesha are required to be tested for CWD and;
  • All adult deer and fawns harvested in Columbia, Dane, Iowa, Richland, Rock, Sauk and Walworth are required to be tested for CWD.

Donated deer must be sampled for CWD prior to, or at the time of donation. The processed venison will be held until results are known.

How to donate your deer

Hunters, you can help feed needy people throughout Wisconsin this fall by taking 5 simple steps.

  1. Donate any legally harvested deer from Wisconsin by dropping it off at a participating processor [PDF] by January 31, 2018. Deer harvested outside of Wisconsin cannot be donated through the Wisconsin deer donation program.
  2. Prior to donating, field dress the deer, register it and write your registration confirmation number down. You will need the registration confirmation number handy in order to fill out the hunter donation log sheet that the meat processor maintains.
  3. Call first! Contact one of the participating processors before dropping the deer off to verify the processor has space to accept your deer.
  4. Donate the entire deer to receive the processing for free. (Head and/or antlers may be removed for mounting.) Please handle the carcass as if it were destined for your own table. A couple bags of ice placed in the cavity will help preserve the carcass in warm weather.
  5. When dropping your deer off at a processor, please complete the log sheet indicating your desire to donate the deer. We'll do the rest. The donated deer will be processed and the venison will be distributed to charitable organizations to help feed Wisconsin's needy.

Make a financial donation to the Deer Donation Program

Hunters and the public can voluntarily donate $1 or more to the Deer Donation Program. Donations will be used to help cover meat processing fees. To donate, either go to any WI Hunting License sales location or donate online through your Go Wild account.

Deer Hide Donation

If you would like to donate the hide from your harvested deer, a list of drop-off locations throughout Wisconsin can be found online [exit DNR].

Non-toxic ammunition

Please consider switching to non-toxic ammunition as even a very small amount of lead in a deer carcass may be toxic to humans and wildlife. Page 22 of the 2017 Deer Hunting Regulations [PDF] booklet lists recommendations to reduce the risk of lead in venison.

Thank you for your interest and good luck hunting!

Last revised: Monday September 18 2017