Wisconsin's Deer Donation Program
The deer donation program helps those in need 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 90,000 deer which were processed into over 3.7 million pounds of ground venison.
Wisconsin has a network of venison donation partners including county land and water conservation departments, food pantries, charitable organizations, Hunt for the Hungry, USDA - Wildlife Services and participating processors who all help implement and administer the program.
Chronic wasting disease affected counties
Deer that are harvested in any CWD-affected county listed below must be sampled for CWD either prior to or at the time of donation. The processed venison will be held until results are known.
- All adult deer harvested in Crawford, Dodge, Dunn, Eau Claire, Jefferson, Juneau, Kenosha, Lincoln, Marathon, Milwaukee, Marquette, Oneida, Portage, Sheboygan, Racine, Vernon and Waukesha counties are required to be tested for CWD and;
- All adult deer and fawns harvested in Adams, Columbia, Dane, Grant, Green, Iowa, Lafayette, Richland, Rock, Sauk and Walworth counties are required to be tested for CWD.
How to donate your deer
Hunters, you can help feed needy people throughout Wisconsin by taking five simple steps.
- Donate any legally harvested deer from Wisconsin by dropping it off at a participating processor. Deer harvested outside of Wisconsin cannot be donated through the Wisconsin deer donation program. A preliminary list of participating processors for the 2020 season is available. The list will be updated as more information is known.
- 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.
- 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). Please handle the carcass as if it were destined for your own table. A couple of bags of ice placed in the cavity will help preserve the carcass in warm weather.
- 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 charitable organizations to help feed Wisconsin's needy.
Make a financial donation to the Deer Donation Program
Hunters and the public can voluntarily donate $1 or more to the Deer Donation Program. Donations will be used to help cover meat processing fees. To donate, either go to any WI Hunting License sales location or donate online through your Go Wild account.
Please consider switching to non-toxic ammunition as even a very small amount of lead in a deer carcass may be toxic to humans and wildlife. Page 29 of the 2019 Deer Hunting Regulations booklet lists recommendations to reduce the risk of lead in venison.
Thank you for your interest and good luck hunting