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Venison donation program in 10th year

This year marks the 10th anniversary of Wisconsin's Venison Donation program.

More than 3.1 million pounds of ground venison from nearly 70,000 deer donated by hunters, have been processed by participating meat processors and distributed by volunteers to state food pantries.

"Wisconsin's venison donation program is an important effort that provides high quality food to Wisconsin families in need," Matt Frank, Department of Natural Resources secretary, said. "This program has been very popular. I encourage hunters to continue this charitable effort by bagging a deer for food pantries."

The program is a partnership between local charitable organizations, counties, the DNR, meat processors and hunters to provide high quality protein to thousands of families.

In addition, hunters have donated $123,000 to the pantry program on top of the fee they pay for deer harvest permits.

The list of participating meat processors is frequently updated.

Hunters harvest, tag, field dress and register a deer same as they always have. After registration the hunter can drop off the carcass at a participating processor.

There is no cost to the hunter other than transporting the carcass. Hunters are advised to call ahead to a processor to check on business hours and if the processor currently has space to accept the carcass.