Hunters can donate their extra venison

A program that allows hunters to give deer meat to those who want venison will be available again this fall.

GiveIN Game, DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife's venison donation program, will be available for its third year.

Hunters who are willing to donate venison and people who would like to receive venison can begin registering on Sept. 1 at hunting.IN.gov/7240.htm.

GiveIN Game makes it easy for people to connect and set up an exchange. Selling, bartering or trading for venison is illegal.

The successful program had 774 participants in 2012, up from 702 participants in 2011.

A majority of the participants surveyed by DNR said the program is easy to use, private and secure, and that it fosters community goodwill. More than 90 percent said they would sign up again.

Both hunters and recipients have an option of donating or requesting any amount of venison in all conditions, from field-dressed animals to packaged venison.

"GiveIN Game is a great way to connect people who are looking for a healthy alternative source of protein," said Chad Stewart, DNR deer research biologist. "It gives hunters a reason to continue hunting after they have satisfied their own venison needs. It provides a community service, which gets back to the roots of why hunters first hunted."

Previous participants must re-register if they want to continue participating.