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Tag Archive | "Michigan Sportsmen Against Hunger"

Deer hunters can enter prize drawings while helping feed hungry families

Hunters can help hungry families in their community – and have the chance to earn a prize – by donating a deer to Michigan Sportsmen Against Hunger. 

As Michigan’s firearm deer season draws near, and with bow season already underway, hunters can help hungry families in their community by donating a deer to Michigan Sportsmen Against Hunger.

For a third year, the DNR is cooperating with the organization and Jay’s Sporting Goods in Clare to accept deer for donation to local food banks. Hunters in northeast Michigan will have a new opportunity to participate by donating at Northwoods Wholesale Outlet in Pinconning.

Hunters donating a legally taken deer at the Michigan Sportsmen Against Hunger truck at the Jayy’s Clare location or Northwoods Wholesale Outlet in Pinconning will have their name entered for a chance to win a $500 gift certificate from the store where they donated. 

A donation truck will be at Jay’s, located at 8800 S. Clare Ave. in Clare, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Nov. 16; Friday, Nov. 20; and Saturday, Nov. 21. Deer donated at Jay’ss will be processed at Carson Village Market in Carson City.

Northwoods Wholesale Outlet, located at 229 W. 5th St. in Pinconning, will host a truck from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 15, and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, Nov. 16.

Michigan Sportsmen Against Hunger is an all-volunteer, nonprofit organization that helps connect donors, wild game processors and charities like food banks, pantries and shelters that offer critical food assistance.

The organization processed over 82,000 pounds of ground venison last year, providing more than 400,000 meals for families in need.

“Last year was great, but with the pandemic, the need for food donations is even greater. I would love to hit 100,000 pounds this year,” said Dean Hall, executive officer of Michigan Sportsmen Against Hunger.

To learn more about the prize drawing, find a participating processor or make a monetary donation to support venison processing, visit

Hunters also can make a monetary donation when they buy a hunting license.

Questions? Contact Ray Rustem at 517-420-0005

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Archery deer season: know the new rules


Michigan is the top state in the nation for deer taken with archery equipment, and archery season started Oct. 1. The DNR wishes all archery deer hunters a safe and successful hunting season. Below are a few reminders and clarifications for those heading to the field.


  • Archery hunters in the Lower Peninsula can use a deer combo, deer or antlerless license during this season. 
  • There are no safety zones when using archery equipment.
  • Over-the-counter antlerless licenses are still available in select deer management units; see michigan.gov/deer.
  • Crossbows are legal to use in entire state Oct. 1-Nov. 14 and additionally in the Lower Peninsula from Dec. 1-Jan. 1.

CWD Areas

CWD and other regulations

  • To learn more about chronic wasting disease (CWD), including a map of where the disease has been found, visit michigan.gov/cwd.
  • Carcass disposal and transportation restrictions can be found in the Hunting Digest (pages 39 and 52) or under Hunting Information at michigan.gov/cwd.
  • To understand baiting and feeding restrictions for certain locations within the state, see page 50 of Hunting Digest.
  • Approved urine and lure attractants can be found at michigan.gov/cwd page 49 of Hunting Digest.
  • For antler point restrictions throughout the state, see page 36 of Hunting Digest.
  • For hunting hours, see page 13 of Hunting Digest.

Mandatory check, deer check stations and drop boxes

There is no longer mandatory check anywhere in the state unless you move your deer out of CWD areas! If you are in the Core CWD Area or the CWD Management Zone, there are carcass transportation restrictions in place (click map for larger map image).

If you hunt in one of the CWD areas and will not be leaving the area, you do not have to have your deer checked nor are you subject to transportation restrictions.

If you are leaving CWD areas (including taking deer from the Core Area to the remaining counties in the Management Zone), you may do so only with the following:

  • deboned meat;
  • quarters or other parts of a cervid that do not have any part of the spinal column or head attached;
  • antlers;
  • antlers attached to a skull cap cleaned of all brain and muscle tissue;
  • hides;
  • upper canine teeth; or
  • a finished taxidermy mount.

OR you must present your deer to any DNR check station in the state (including partnering processors or taxidermists) or place the head in a drop box within 24 hours of harvest.

  • Find DNR check station and drop box locations, , including partnering meat processors and taxidermists, at michigan.gov/deercheck. On the interactive map, it is important to check the open dates and times for each check station. These are not consistent throughout the state.
  • Some drop boxes are open 24 hours as indicated on the interactive map.
  • CWD test results may take up to 14 business days during the busier times of the season. Visit michigan.gov/dnrlab to check your test results.

Drop boxes are self-serve, and you should assume that you will have to leave the deer head in the box unless you are doing a European or shoulder deer mount. If this is the case, you should visit a drop box, electronically register the deer through your smartphone, then take a CWD specimen tag from the drop box and keep the tag with the deer. Once the taxidermist capes out your deer, you need to bring the skinned-out head back to the drop box or to any DNR check station and submit the head with the CWD specimen tag.

Partnering processor check stations may or may not remove your deer head, so you should be prepared to remove the head yourself so that it can submitted for testing.

NEW antlerless license opportunity

Hunters hunting on private land in the CWD Management Zone have the option of purchasing discounted antlerless licenses at 40 percent off the usual price. These licenses are good for private land anywhere within the CWD Management Zone through Nov. 4, 2018, when they expire. Ask for Hunt # – 2CWD when purchasing this license. In addition to these discounted licenses, hunters can still purchase regular, over-the-counter antlerless deer licenses (see pages 39 and 40 of the Hunting Digest). Note: This not a separate season. This license only may be used to take antlerless deer during the archery season on private land with archery equipment from Oct. 1 to Nov. 1.

Tree-stand safety

  • Always use a fall-arrest system full body harness.
  • Always use a haul line—a line anchored to the tree stand that reaches the ground, to lift your unloaded firearm, crossbow and other equipment in and out of the tree stand. Be sure the barrel is pointed down and that the line is not attached through the trigger guard.
  • Always let someone know where you will be hunting and the exact times you will be gone.
  • Carry a communication device that you know receives a signal in the area you will be hunting.
  • Refrain from using screw-in steps on your tree stand.
  • Always step down onto your raised platform (tree stand) to ensure it is secured properly.
  • Always maintain three points of contact when climbing up to or down from your tree stand.

Help Michigan families in need this hunting season 

Michigan Sportsmen Against Hunger is an organization that works with the DNR to help feed families in your community. You can help by making a donation when you buy your hunting license OR by donating a harvested deer and delivering it to a participating processor. Each deer donated will provide more than 125 meals, and financial donations offset the cost of processing, packaging and transporting donated venison. To find a participating processor or learn more, visit sportsmenagainsthunger.org.

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Hunters needed to help the hungry


By Keith Creagh and Phillip Knight

Keith Creagh is the director of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

Dr. Phillip Knight is the executive director of the Food Bank Council of Michigan

Michigan’s hunters know firsthand the pride and satisfaction of being able to bring home a nutritious meal of wild game to the family supper table. They also know how hard it can be sometimes to provide that food.

Imagine trying to feed your family without the available means.

That struggle – with its stress, disappointment and anxiety – becomes particularly tough on families during the holiday season each year, with increased demands on a household budget.

Nearly 1.5 million Michigan residents – 15 percent of our residents and 18 percent of our children – live with the stress of not knowing when they will eat again – of not having a secure food source.

As we head toward the holidays and the firearm deer hunting season, hunters can help make a positive impact on this problem by donating venison to a family in need through Michigan Sportsmen Against Hunger.

Since 1991, this group has helped connect donors, wild game processors and charities that feed people in need.

The board of this all-volunteer, unpaid organization – sportsmen and women concerned about making a positive difference in their communities – works to coordinate processing of deer harvested by hunters with local, licensed game processors throughout Michigan.

Over the past quarter century, food banks, pantries and shelters have distributed an estimated 608,000 pounds of venison donated by hunters. This translates to more than 3 million meals provided to struggling families.

Hunter donations of venison add up to over 20,000 pounds each year, providing over 100,000 meals.

Hunters can donate a whole deer, or a portion, by visiting a participating game processor. A list of processors involved in the program is available by calling the Michigan Sportsmen Against Hunger hotline at 1-586-552-6517 or by visiting www.sportsmenagainsthunger.org

Game processors are reimbursed by the pound for the meat they process. They also work with local food banks or soup kitchens to distribute ground venison.

Monetary donations can be made to the Michigan Sportsmen Against Hunger program when purchasing a hunting or fishing license or by making a Help Feed the Hungry donation at www.michigan.gov/estore.

These funds help cover the costs of processing, packaging and transporting donated venison.

This year, with the generosity of hunters – and the financial support of hunters and non-hunters – 32 different community agencies have received a total of over 20,000 pounds of ground venison. This significant donation is from just 16 different processors working with the organization.

The Food Bank Council of Michigan (FBCM) is an important partner in the Sportsmen Against Hunger program, working to distribute donated venison across the state.

This annual initiative aligns with the council’s mission to create a food-secure Michigan, where each person has access to proper nutrition acquired by dignified means.

The council is uniquely positioned to help distribute the donated venison. Last year, the FBCM’s seven partner food banks, distributed more than 181 million pounds of food to over 2,800 food pantries in every Michigan county.

Michigan food banks work with Sportsmen Against Hunger to help bring quality meat to the tables of people in need. Meat contains protein which ranks among the food items most needed by those without regular access to food.

The FBCM looks forward to working with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Sportsmen Against Hunger to grow this program, so more people have access to wholesome food.

In addition to the DNR and the Food Bank Council of Michigan, the program is sponsored by several organizations, including Safari Club International, Michigan United Conservation Clubs, Michigan Bow Hunters Association, Ted Nugent World Bowhunters and the United Methodist Men’s Club.

Michigan is home to a proud, long-standing hunting tradition. Last year, more than half a million hunters in Michigan took to the woods during the firearm deer season. They brought home roughly 165,000 deer.

With the firearm deer season again upon us, we urge hunters to consider donating to Michigan Sportsmen Against Hunger. It’s a gratifying way to help friends and neighbors by providing healthy venison meals to families who need food.

Struggling families across Michigan will deeply appreciate your generosity, especially during the holiday season.

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