The North Carolina Wildlife Federation and the N.C. Tobacco Trust Fund Commission have partnered on a program to help farmers manage whitetailed deer through hunting and to help local food banks through donations of venison. The program works through local civic organizations, youth groups and hunt clubs that seek to encourage donations of venison to local food charities. Some local groups run events around donating harvested venison and even collect deer in mobile coolers.
Groups looking to host a deer donation event can reserve a mobile cooler free of charge capable of holding up to 20 deer. The trailer is reserved through the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission and was made possible through the support of the N.C. Wildlife Federation and the Tobacco Trust Fund Commission. To reserve a cooler, visit the Wildlife Resources webpage http://www.ncwildlife.org/Hunting/Learn-Resources/Deer-Cooler-Request
Once harvested, the deer are processed through the network of N.C. Hunters for the Hungry deer processors and the venison is made available to the local food pantries. The Food Bank of the Albemarle in Elizabeth City has a goal of 100 donated deer for the upcoming season. All deer must be legally harvested and donations including processing are free of charge to hunters. Hunters for the Hungry covers the cost of processing the deer.
The program was created to assist farmers with the crop damage caused by deer. Everybody benefits when deer are well-managed through adequate hunting effort, especially sportsmen looking for access to prime hunting land and high quality deer management. One place to look for farmland hunting access is on the N.C. Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services webpage www.ncagr.gov/hunt/
The Farmers & Communities Manage Deer program was developed by the NC Wildlife Federation to help manage white-tailed deer in a sustainable manner, to assist farmers, and to feed the hungry. It is a collaborative effort with NC Hunters for the Hungry and financial support comes from the NC Tobacco Trust Fund Commission.
Deer donations are accepted