Hunters urged to donate venison for food pantries

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Staff | October 30, 2013

MADISON – Hunters can donate deer to help feed the hungry through a partnership that over the past 13 years has provided food pantries across the state with 3.7 million pounds of ground venison, state wildlife officials say.

The Wisconsin Venison Donation Program and its affiliates, Hunt for the Hungry and Target Hunger, along with more than 120 participating meat processors, are ready to accept and distribute venison donated by hunters during this deer hunting season, according to Dan Hirchert, the Department of Natural Resources wildlife biologist coordinating the venison program.

“There has been great interest this year from hunters who are anticipating a productive season” Hirchert said. “We need your help again this season to share the harvest and help families in need.”

In the past 13 years, hunters have donated 83,120 deer which were processed into more than 3.7 million pounds of ground venison and distributed to food pantries across the state.

Two separate programs for donation are available for hunters, one in the chronic wasting disease zone and another in the rest of the state. Be sure to view the list that applies to your area. Both lists of participating meat processors, and instructors for donating, are available on the DNR website.

Deer legally harvested in the CWD zone are registered with a red metal tag. Red-tagged deer can only be donated to a processor participating in the Target Hunger program. Donated red-tagged deer are tested for CWD and only deer that test negative will be distributed to pantries.

In Walworth County, the two sampling registration stations in 2013 are Lakeside Bait and Tackle, 3542 Wisconsin Highway 50, Delavan, (262) 725-7007; and Minnow Bucket, 116 E. Main St., Whitewater, (262) 458-2702.

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