Deer Donation Program Reaches 20 Years

Each year, hunters, meat processors and food pantries help families in need by working with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and its partners to donate thousands of pounds of venison to food pantries. To mark the 20th anniversary of the Deer Donation Program (DDP), hunters who donate a deer will receive a commemorative ball cap while supplies last.

“Whether it is harvesting an extra deer or donating the only deer they shoot, Wisconsin hunters have historically shown their willingness to help others by donating deer to the Deer Donation Program,” said Liz Tanner, DNR Wildlife Damage Program assistant.

Since the DDP’s inception, more than 92,000 deer have been donated, translating to more than 3.7 million pounds of venison distributed to food pantries across the state.

Hunters are advised to know where participating processors are located and whether the deer needs to be tested for CWD before donating it. Hunters should also call the participating processor before dropping off a deer.

To find more information about the DDP, a list of participating meat processors, CWD sampling requirements and more ways to help, visit