Hunters looking to help the less fortunate this year can donate their deer to help stock food pantries.

It’s the Wisconsin Venison Donation program, and DNR wildlife damage specialist Dan Hirchert says the program is funded through money from deer licensing.”Two dollars of their hunting license dollars goes to the deer damage program. That helps investigate deer damage and other wildlife damage concerns across the state. And part of those monies go to the damaged donation program.”

The program has collected 3.7 million pounds of venison over the last 13 years and this year 120 local meat processors and butcher shops will take part in the program. Hirchert says the entire process is painless, for the hunter at least. “Field dress it, take decent care of it to take it out of the field, take it to one of the designated processor locations. They’ll take it from there.”

“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.”

You can get a list of participating programs — inside and outside the CWD zones — online, at a DNR service center, or anywhere you can buy a deer tag.

Raymond Neupert, WSAU

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