MADISON, Wis. (WEAU) -- Hunters, meat processors, and food pantries aided in the donation of more than 90,000 pounds of venison to those in need last year.
The Department of Natural Resources released the figure on Tuesday. More than 2,000 deer were donated through the agency's donation program. Processed packages of ground venison went to food pantries across the state. The number of donated deer is down 27 percent compared to 2012. The DNR says that's likely because hunters harvested fewer deer.
Hunters have donated moer than 85,000 deer and more than 3,800,000 pounds of venison since the donation program started in 2000. The meat goes to Wisconsin families who need food assistance. Counties across the state and groups like the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Wildlife Services, Hunt for the Hungry, and Target Hunger help by organizing donations, coordinating processing, and handing out venison.