April 23, 2013
EDITOR'S ADVISORY: CORRECTION -- This news release has been updated with a correction on the amount of ground venison distributed from the deer donation program. There was 140,000 pounds of venison distributed.
MADISON- An increasing number of hunters and meat processors from all around the state donated their deer and volunteered their time to provide venison to people in need in 2012.
More than 3,000 deer were donated through the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources deer donation program, which were then processed and distributed to food pantries statewide.
Participation in the donation program was up 8 percent over 2011, likely a result of increased hunter turnout.
"This year was a success thanks to the generosity of participating hunters, meat processors and volunteers alike," said Noah Balgooyen, DNR Wildlife Damage Program biologist. "Over 140,000 pounds of ground venison was distributed to Wisconsin families in need of food assistance."
Since the program started in 2000, hunters have donated over 80,000 deer, totaling more than 3.5 million pounds of venison. The program relies on cooperation with counties across the state, USDA-Wildlife Services, and community programs such as Hunt for the Hungry and Target Hunger Venison Donation program who help organize the donations, the processing, and ultimately the delivery to food pantries.
For more information about the DNR's deer donation program and how you can help, search the DNR website for keywords "deer donation."
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Noah Balgooyen, DNR wildlife damage program biologist, 608-266-5230