Wisconsin deer hunters willing to share the harvest, but no network available right now

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While an attempt to create a program with the working title of Venison Connection failed, at least for now, deer hunters may still work out venison transfers on their own in which they give a deer carcass to non-hunters who might want the venison. (Photo by Jerry Davis)

Hunters and anglers have long been known as providers. Non-hunters recognize and accept this axiom, too.

COVID-19 has put pressures on families in several ways.  Some products, such as meat, are often in short supply.  Meat can also be expensive.  Food money may be wanting in many instances.

Short term, social distancing is one way of beating up on communicable diseases, including COVID-19.  It works as long as help is on the way.  It helps until treatment and vaccines are perfected.

Outdoors activities have a way of improving social distancing many times over.  Bowhunters, upland game hunters, trout anglers, runners, birders, and hickory nut gatherers are usually many times more than six feet apart during most of their adventures.

This past summer the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources toyed with the idea of inviting hunters to connect with non-hunters, and others, who would like to have a deer carcass, but for numerous reasons could not get one via hunting.

The working title for this project was “Venison Connection.” It got as far as working out a method of preparing as many as two lists of those who wanted venison and those who would fill one of their antlerless authorizations, register the deer and give it away.

A few individuals have been doing this for years, but to put several lists on the DNR website would have put the idea in the forefront.  It appeared the method would not be overly labor-intensive for the DNR.

For one or several reasons, the committee work was for naught. Reasons being that staffing and other priorities made the culmination of a Venison Connection unworkable at this opportune time.

One might image that two diseases may have played into the decision, too.  Giving an individual a carcass from an animal that may have been CWD-positive may not have flown well.  And the actual transfer of a carcass from person to person may be a stretch.

Maybe conservation clubs or individuals can work something out themselves.  Some have in the past.

It would be helpful to know if we’re simply missing something else that turned out to be problematic.  Tell us what that might be.

In the meantime hunters, make your own venison connection this season.

Categories: Whitetail Deer, Wisconsin – Jerry Davis

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