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Wisconsin Ag News Headlines
Hunters Donate 400,000 Pounds of Venison to Food Pantries
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 01/16/2008

Wisconsin deer hunters responded in a big way to the 2007 Venison Donation Program, delivering and donating 9,200 deer to 126 participating meat processors in 52 Wisconsin counties. After processing, the donations provided over 414,000 pounds of ground venison that was distributed to food pantries throughout the state.

"Since the 2000 fall hunting season, hunters have donated more than 63,200 deer, have provided more than 2.8 million pounds of venison to hungry families in Wisconsin," said Laurie Fike, venison donation project coordinator. "From conversations I've had with similar programs in other states, it's clear that Wisconsin's program is second to none."

The program provides high quality protein to pantry shoppers and provides an outlet for excess venison that hunters, their families or friends and neighbors may not be able to use. Wisconsin hunters embrace a strong ethic against taking game that will not be eaten, say wildlife managers.

The donation program involves many partners in addition to hunters. A large network of volunteers including sports groups, church groups, civic organizations and food pantry staff work together to distribute the meat from the hunter to the processor to the food pantries.

Buffalo County hunters donated the most venison this season with 797 donated deer. Trempealeau County wasn't far behind with 693 donated deer.

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