More than 90,000 pounds of venison were donated following the 2013 gun-deer harvest as part of the DNR deer donation program.
Wildlife damage biologist Dan Hirchert says hunters again have been generous....
".....the program was set up for hunters to shoot additional deer and have somewhere to go with those deer. In that regard, any deer that are donated to the program are a bonus. We look at it as another source of good will. We can provide meat items to folks all around the state that need(it)...."
He says the 90,000 pounds was one of the lower amounts donated since the program started in 2000. He says since the program started, more than 3.8 million pounds has been donated. The venison is processed locally, then given to food pantries. About 120 processors statewide are involved in the meat processing.
Hirchert says since 2000 the counties with the largest donation numbers are in western and central Wisconsin. Oneida county has had 1,073 deer donated in thirteen years with Vilas county hunters donating 461.