The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Division of Fish & Wildlife announced Nov. 9 the private butcher shops and DNREC cooler locations that accept donated deer for the Sportsmen Against Hunger program during Delaware’s 2018-19 deer hunting season.

Deer donated by successful deer hunters are processed into venison at no charge to the hunter, with the Division of Fish & Wildlife distributing the venison to charitable groups that provide meals for needy Delawareans.

In 2017, DNREC’s Sportsmen Against Hunger program distributed 19,083 pounds of venison from 649 deer donated by hunters to approximately three dozen food pantries and shelters statewide, which provided 76,332 meals to Delawareans in need. Since it began in 1992, the program has provided more than 2 million such meals.

Successful hunters can take their deer directly to participating private butcher shops, or they may drop off their deer at any of DNREC’s walk-in coolers.

Participating butcher shops are Dave’s Cut l’Em Up, 6854 Delmar Road, Delmar; Millie’s Butcher Shop, 577 Morgans Choice Road, Wyoming; D&J Custom Cutting, 89 Myers Drive, Hartly; and Townsend Deer Butchering, 1300 Dexter Corner Road, Townsend.

Cooler locations to donate deer are located at Assawoman Wildlife Area, 37604 Mulberry Landing Road, Frankford; Gumboro Community Center, 36849 Millsboro Highway, Millsboro; Redden State Forest Headquarters, 18074 Redden Forest Drive, Georgetown; Trap Pond State Park, 33587 Bald Cypress Lane, Laurel; Little Creek Wildlife Area, 3018 Bayside Drive, Dover; Norman G. Wilder Wildlife Area, 782 Kersey Road, Viola; Mosquito Control Office, 1161 Airport Road, Milford; and Augustine Wildlife Area, 303 N. Congress St., Port Penn.

Hunters donating deer are encouraged to call the phone number posted on the walk-in coolers so that the deer can be transported for processing in a timely manner. Hunters are reminded that all deer dropped off at a cooler must be field-dressed and registered by the hunter, with the registration number written on the field tag attached to the deer. Coolers are checked frequently, with donated deer taken to participating private butcher shops or the Sussex Correctional Institution’s deer butchering program for processing.

Deer harvested in Delaware, including donated deer, must be registered through the Division of Fish & Wildlife’s Hunter and Trapper Registration system. Deer hunters are encouraged to access the system at dnrec.delaware.gov/delhunt. Hunters who prefer to talk to a live customer service representative can call 855-335-4868.

For more, visit bit.ly/1uH0jwZ, or call 284-4795.