Editors Blog

How to Donate Deer Meat: Easier Than You Think

Have you ever wanted to donate deer meat (or even a whole deer) but didn’t know how to do it or where you should even start? The process is pretty painless in most areas of the country, and, in fact, is usually as simple as dropping your deer off at a registered meat processor. 

Donating deer meat for needy families is an act that all deer hunters should follow if they are granted the luxury of hunting areas with an overpopulation of whitetails. (photo by Getty Images for Deer & Deer Hunting)

Each state is different when it comes to hunters who want to donate deer meat, and some states have programs that are run through nonprofit organizations like  Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry, Hunters for the Hungry, and so forth. Where I live (Wisconsin) hunters can help feed needy people by taking 5 simple steps. The program is funded through our hunting and fishing permit funds, with additional help from the state. To donate a deer here, we must:• Donate any legally harvested deer from Wisconsin by dropping it off at a participating processor by Jan. 31. Deer harvested outside of Wisconsin cannot be donated through the Wisconsin deer donation program.

• Prior to donating, field dress the deer, register it and write the registration confirmation number down. The hunter will need the registration confirmation number handy in order to fill out the hunter donation log sheet that the meat processor maintains.

• Contact one of the participating processors before dropping the deer off to verify the processor has space to accept the deer. As the season progresses, a lot of hunters want to donate deer meat, so you need to keep that in mind.

• Donate the entire deer to receive the processing for free. (Head and/or antlers may be removed for mounting.)

• When dropping a deer off at a processor, the hunter must complete the log sheet indicating their desire to donate the deer. The processor does the rest. The donated deer will be processed and the venison will be distributed to charitable organizations to help feed needy families.

According to Feeding America, 1 in 7 Americans struggles with hunger. Food insecurity exists in every county in America. Despite a gradual economic recovery and stock market rebound, wages for many Americans have simply not risen fast enough to cover the increased cost of living. To these Americans, food has become an unaffordable luxury.

For more information on how to donate deer meat in your area, or for a list of venison donation butchers, click here.


Deer & Deer Hunting invites you to watch Saturday Night Deer Camp, only on Pursuit Channel.

Saturday Night Deer Camp is a primetime block of shows kicked off each week with the award-winning Deer & Deer Hunting TV. Hosted by Dan Schmidt, Gordy Krahn, Mark Kayser and Steve Bartylla, the show is in its 14th season and covers everything related to deer hunting, from tactics and strategy to gear, biology, great hunts and more.

Following DDH TV, you can watch Destination Whitetail, The Given Right with Kenneth Lancaster and then Land of Whitetail. These four shows make Saturday Night Deer Camp your must-watch viewing this year.

Check your local listings for Pursuit Channel. It’s also available now on AT&T U-Verse, Channel 1644, among other networks.

Saturday Night Deer Camp: It’s all about the people, the places and the camaraderie that make hunting a lifestyle. Only on the Pursuit Channel!