Each year, hunters, meat processors, and food pantries help families in need by working closely with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and its partners including: County Land and Water Conservation Departments, food pantries, charitable organizations, Hunt for the Hungry, and USDA-Wildlife Services – who all help to implement and administer the Deer Donation Program.
The Deer Donation Program helps those in need of venison by providing an opportunity for hunters to donate their deer. The venison from donated deer is processed and distributed to food pantries across the state. Since the program began in 2000, hunters have donated over 92,000 deer which were processed into over 3.7 million pounds of ground venison for the hungry.
How to donate your deer
Hunters, you can help feed people in need throughout Wisconsin by taking five simple steps.
• Prior to donating, field dress the deer, register it and write your registration confirmation number down. You will need the registration confirmation number handy in order to fill out the hunter donation log sheet that the meat processor maintains. HANDLE THE CARCASS AS IF IT WAS DESTINED FOR YOUR OWN TABLE! A couple bags of ice placed in the cavity will help preserve the carcass in warm weather.
• Donate any legally harvested deer from Wisconsin by dropping it off at a participating meat processor by February 1, 2021 Deer harvested outside of Wisconsin cannot be donated through the Wisconsin deer donation program.
• Call first! Contact one of the participating processors before dropping the deer off to verify the processor has space to accept your deer.
• Donate the entire deer to receive the processing for free. (Head and/or antlers may be removed for mounting.)
• When dropping your deer off at a processor, please complete the log sheet indicating your desire to donate the deer. We’ll do the rest. The donated deer will be processed and the venison will be distributed to local charitable organizations to help feed Wisconsin’s families in need.
We are very thankful for two local meat processors in St Croix County who are participating in the program.
The two processors are:
• Deers Food Locker: Jason Ellingson, 210 Main Street North, Deer Park, WI 54002, (715) 269-5118
• Powers Wild Game: Greg Powers, 2040 Hwy 65, New Richmond, WI 54017, (715) 781-4811
All of the donated venison processed will be given to local food shelves. Our food shelves have told us how extremely appreciative they are to have this venison available to the people in need, right here in our communities.
If you would like more information about the St Croix County Wildlife Damage Program or the Wisconsin Deer Donation Program you can contact Cindy Blonk at (715) 349-2109 or on the Wisconsin DNR website. Also on the DNR website is the State-wide listing of Meat Processors accepting donated deer. The DNR website is https://dnr.wi.gov, and search deer donation.