When you have a particularly successful season, it’s natural to want to share that joy and experience with others. When you harvest that big buck, you tell your friends about it, maybe even share it on social media. You share the experience, but do you share the venison? Below are some tips on how to donate and share your venison with others and spread the joy of your harvest.
Where Can I Donate it?
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources partnered with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture to provide a list of approved meat processing plants that hunters can choose from. The venison you donate to the approved processors goes to food banks, food shelves and feeding programs to help those in need. So your next hunting trip can turn into someone else’s next meal.
What are the Requirements?
The Minnesota DNR provides a list of requirements for hunters interested in donating venison to a food processing plant. The Minnesota DNR requires that the harvest must be:
- Free from signs of illness.
- Field dressed with the hide intact.
- Free of visible decomposition or contamination.
- Properly identified with a Minnesota DNR registration tag.
The website also notes that “processors will reject deer for the donation program that appear to have been mishandled in any way.” The processors only accept whole carcasses with the hide still attached. Hunters also need to sign a form that acknowledges they are donating the deer and follow specific field dressing guidelines.
What Kind of Venison Can Be Donated?
Processors can’t accept venison that has already been cut and wrapped. So, all you need to do is field dress the deer and let the processor take care of the rest. Simply field dress and drop off your tagged deer and know that the venison you donate will go to worthy causes and will help provide a vital source of protein to people in need.
The Husky Hauler Can Help
After harvesting your deer, use our Husky Hauler Utility Sled to bring it back to your car, truck, or ATV. The sled comes with molded bottom runners that help it glide over rough terrain. You can also add a cover to help keep the deer dry and protected as you haul it back to your vehicle. Putting the deer in a Husky Hauler Utility Sled with a cover will keep it from dragging across the ground and will protect it from the elements, like intense heat or a heavy rain. The tow ears accommodate an optional steel hitch for further convenience. You can safely tow your deer while keeping the carcass protected, preserving its eligibility to be donated.
Protein is something that everyone needs, but not everyone has access to. The venison from the deer we harvest is rich with other vitamins and minerals, not just protein, and is leaner than beef. Hunting has the mental benefit of connecting with nature and the health benefit of a nutritious protein. Sharing your passion for hunting with others is wonderful, but how rewarding would it be to share the venison as well as the experience. Consider donating a deer to a processing plant this coming deer season and share the joy and benefit of venison with others.
Do you share your venison? With whom do you share it with? Let us know in the comments below!