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Deer hunters can join in the autumn tradition of donating a deer to a family in need. The program started in 2000 and since then 90,000 deer were processed into over 3.6 million pounds of ground venison, according to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources website. Deer are accepted at participating meat processors.

Deer hide and monetary donations to help cover the cost of deer processing can also be made. To donate money, go to any WI Hunting License sales location or donate online through your Go Wild account. A list of drop off sites for hides can be found at http://www.wlf.info/events/deer-hide-collection/.

Hunters should follow these steps to donate a deer: 

  • Properly field dress and register the deer. Write down your registration confirmation number, which will be used when dropping off the deer.
  • Contact one of the participating meat processors (visit dnr.wi.gov, and search keyword “deer donation”) to verify they have space to accept the deer.
  • Drop deer off at a participating processor by February 1, 2018. Donate the entire deer to receive the processing for free (head or antlers may be removed for mounting).
  • Sign the log sheet indicating your desire to donate the deer while at the processor.

Deer from certain CWD-affected counties must be tested for CWD either before or after donating.

Find more information on venison donation and a list of participating meat processors at dnr.wi.gov, keywords “deer donation.”

 

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