MADISON, Wis. — The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is encouraging hunters to donate state-harvested deer to the department's Deer Donation Program. The program helps stock food pantries this holiday season and support residents in need throughout the state.
The program began in 2000 and has since seen 94,000 deer donations from hunters, totaling more than 3.8 million pounds of venison distributed to Wisconsin food pantries.
Officials say the DNR works with partnering meat processors to distribute thousands of pounds of donated venison to state 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.”
Officials say one in 12 Wisconsin households did not have enough food before the COVID-19 pandemic began in early 2020, and research shows this number continues to rise.
Hunters interested in donating a Wisconsin-harvested deer can click here.
Those looking to support the Deer Donation Program can go through a monetary donation when purchasing a hunting or fishing license or a Wisconsin State Park pass.