ODNR: Support local food banks with donated venison through FHFH
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife is once again partnering with Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry (FHFH) to support local food banks with donated venison. Through this program, FHFH and participating processors donate harvested deer to charitable organizations throughout Ohio.
Hunters who harvest a deer and would like to donate the venison can bring it to one of 26 certified deer processing shops in Ohio. Each donated deer is provided to a verified charitable organization that offers food assistance. One harvested deer yields approximately 50 pounds of venison and 200 meals.
Find the complete list of processors accepting donations of harvested deer at feedingthehungry.org. Hunters who donate their deer are not required to pay for the processing of the venison.
“Venison is a healthy source of protein, and I’m proud that the Division of Wildlife can help Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry share that meat with those who need it,” Division of Wildlife Chief Kendra Wecker said.
This program encourages the harvest of deer for the purpose of wildlife management in Ohio, as well as provide for the wise and charitable use of the wildlife resource for direct public benefit. During the 2022-23 hunting season, FHFH coordinated the processing of 1,132 deer donated by Ohio hunters. Approximately 60 charitable organizations then distributed venison.
Ohio’s deer archery hunting season is open until Sunday, Feb. 4, 2024. The youth gun season is Nov. 18-19, with statewide gun seasons Monday, Nov. 27 until Sunday, Dec. 3, and again Dec. 16-17. The muzzleloader season is from Saturday, Jan. 6 to Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2024. Hunting licenses and deer permits are available on the HuntFish OH app, at wildohio.gov, or at any license vendor.
Venison is a lean meat with high nutritional value. The Wild Ohio Harvest Community provides a variety of delicious recipes for deer, turkey, fish, and small game. Check out the Wild Ohio Harvest Cookbook for ideas on cooking venison and other wild game.
The mission of the Division of Wildlife is to conserve and improve fish and wildlife resources and their habitats for sustainable use and appreciation by all. Visit wildohio.gov to find out more.
ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at ohiodnr.gov.