Deer Donation Program Combats Food Insecurity, Connects Communities
November marks the start of giving season for South Wake Conservationists (SWC) and Gaston County Piedmont Area Wildlife Stewards (Gaston PAWS) as community wildlife chapter members help feed neighbors and families in need through North Carolina Wildlife Federation’s Deer Donation Program.
Held in partnership with North Carolina Hunters for the Hungry, the deer donation program brings together sportsmen and women to manage white-tail deer populations, ensure healthy herds, promote generosity and help combat food insecurity.
A network of inspected meat processors produces frozen ground venison packages from legally harvested deer and distributes them to local hunger relief organizations.
“This is a win-win-win program,” said Guy Gardener of SWC. “It reduces overpopulation and starvation of deer, prevents damage to farmers’ crops, and feeds people in need with high-quality, lean protein that’s versatile to use.”
Chuck King of Gaston PAWS added, “Processed venison from legally taken deer goes to local shelters, kitchens, pantries and other community food distribution centers. Using this natural and sustainable resource, hunters can assist in the battle against hunger and malnutrition in North Carolina.”
The Harnett County site hosted by SWC accepts deer donations and serves as an official chronic wasting disease testing drop-off site for hunters to voluntarily submit deer heads for CWD testing.
Explore NCWF’s online library of wildlife videos
To learn more, watch our Learn to Hunt Deer online series. Held over eight months in conjunction with South Wake Conservationists, webinar topics cover the full spectrum, from archery and e-scouting to hunting tools and tree identification.