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North Dakotaâ€™s Sportsmen Against Hunger Program is again accepting donations of deer at select processors across the state. In addition, the program is also able to accept light goose breast meat (snow, blue and Rossâ€™s geese) for the first time this fall.
Canada goose meat, while accepted during the early goose season, is not eligible for donation during the regular waterfowl season.
Sportsmen Against Hunger is a program administered by the North Dakota Community Action Partnership, a nonprofit agency that serves low-income families across the state. SAH raises funds to pay for processing of donated deer and geese, and coordinates distribution of ground venison and goose meat to food pantries around the state.
The State Game and Fish Department strongly supports the SAH program and encourages hunters to consider donating deer, according to agency Director Terry Steinwand. The program can accept whole deer only, which must be processed at a participating licensed meat processor.
According to NDCAP Executive Director Andrea Olson, the SAH program has sufficient funding available to process deer and geese this fall. â€śThe meat that is generated is so appreciated by the families who receive it,â€ť Olson said. â€śThey are all so grateful for access to a nutritious source of protein; something that is often expensive and otherwise difficult for them to obtain.â€ť
A list of participating processors and more information is available on the Community Action website at capnd.org.
Participating processors will not accept deer shot in the hind quarters, and donated deer will be processed individually or only with other donated deer.
Hunters can clean their light geese at home prior to delivery to a processor, but breast meat brought from home without a wing or head attached to the meat, must be accompanied by written information that includes the hunterâ€™s name, address, signature, hunting license number, date taken and species and number taken.
Hunters may also deliver light geese directly from the field to a processor, but identification must remain attached to the bird until in possession of the processor.
Hunters interested in donating light geese are encouraged to call processors to have a clear understanding of how goose breasts will be accepted.