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Contact(s): Noah Balgooyen, DNR wildlife biologist, 608-266-2151
October 17, 2017

[EDITOR'S ADVISORY: This news release has been updated to correct that deer harvested in CWD-affected counties must be tested for CWD prior to, or at the time of donation.]

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 donate thousands of pounds of venison to those in need.

"This is a great opportunity for hunters to enjoy the sport of deer hunting while helping those in need," said Noah Balgooyen, DNR wildlife biologist. "Food pantries are eager to receive venison, and individuals and families are truly appreciative of the venison they receive."

The Deer Donation Program was established in the year 2000. Since then, more than 90,000 deer have been donated and more than 3.6 million pounds of venison have been processed and distributed to food pantries across the state.

"This is a true collaborative effort," added Balgooyen. Hunters, meat processors, food pantries and countless volunteers help the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, counties across the state, USDA-Wildlife Services, and community programs organize donations, coordinate processing, and distribute venison.

Deer harvested in CWD-affected counties must be sampled for CWD prior to, or at the time of donation. The processed venison will be held until results are known.

For more information about the DNR's deer donation program, CWD sampling requirements, and more on how you can help, visit and search keywords "deer donation."

Last Revised: Tuesday, October 17, 2017

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