- The Wisconsin Deer Donation program needs help from hunters this fall. The program lets hunters donate their deer to help feed those in need. Experts are concerned that the winter weather could cut into the number of deer kills this season. DNR managers think it will be difficult to find and hunt them.
"This year it's looking a little lean, especially in the north," said DNR Wildlife Biologist Jeremy Holtz. "With this deep snow, it's changed the deer behavior and it's going to change hunter behavior too. So I wouldn't be surprised if we saw that our donations were down this year under the circumstances."
Donating takes three simple steps: you register your kill, field dress the deer, and then you take it to a DNR approved processing center. The venison is then ground-up, frozen, and shipped to local pantries, as well as people in need. One meat market owner and program volunteer feels the impact of fewer deer.
"There isn't the number of deer up here like there used to be and with no doe tags, I'm not expecting too many deer being donated," said Lake Tomahawk Meat Market Owner Todd Ahrensdorf. "We've already had two deer donated from this archery season."
Wisconsinites have received nearly four million pounds of venison through the program since 2000. Donations will be accepted up through February 1st. The DNR recommends using lead-free ammunition to prevent harm to people and wildlife. You can find out where to register your deer, and where to find processing centers near you by following the links listed below.
Deer Register Sites