Brad Koele, DNRwildlife management, 715-356-5211 EXT. 234
MADISON - 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.
"Whether it's harvesting an extra deer or donating the only deer they shoot, hunters have historically shown their willingness to help others by donating deer to the Deer Donation Program," said Brad Koele, DNR Wildlife Damage Specialist. "As deer hunters begin preparations for this hunting season, we're encouraging them to again consider the Deer Donation Program."
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," added Koele. "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.
The Department would like to thank all the deer hunters and meat processors that have participated in the deer donation program over the years. For more information about the DNR's deer donation program, a list of participating meat processor, CWD sampling requirements, and more on how you can help, visit dnr.wi.gov and search keywords "deer donation."