The mission of South Dakota Sportsmen Against Hunger is to encourage and facilitate donation of wild game meat to needy people in South Dakota.
What types of animals can I donate?
You can donate any type of game animal or bird you choose, but South Dakota Sportsmen Against Hunger (SDSAH) only pays toward the processing of antlerless deer, doe/fawn antelope, and Canada geese taken in South Dakota. You are also welcome to donate buck deer, buck antelope, elk, turkeys, pheasants and anything else you harvest in-state or out-of-state. We encourage and appreciate these donations. However, you will have to pay all of the processing fees for these game animals and birds.
How many donated antlerless deer and doe/fawn antelope will SDSAH pay to process?
There is no limit to the number of antlerless deer and doe/fawn antelope a hunter may donate and use a doe processing certificate to pay toward processing costs. If you're a hunter with deer or antelope to donate, simply deliver your deer or antelope to one of the many big game processors. Or call 800-456-2758 and you will be directed to the nearest or most convenient participating processor. Again, you are welcome to donate as many antlerless deer and doe/fawn antelope (and any other animals) as you like, but SDSAH only pays toward processing fees for antlerless deer and doe/fawn antelope.
Is the processing of donated antlerless deer and doe/fawn antelope free?
In most cases, yes. Here's how it works: a majority of our big game participating processors charge $75 to process a donated antlerless deer and $65 for a doe/fawn antelope, and that fee is covered by a doe processing certificate from SDSAH. Processors have these certificates at their place of business. However, a few processors do charge more than the value of the processing certificate. In these cases, the hunter is responsible for the remainder of the processing fees. For information on processors and how much each charges, please see the contact information on the list of big game processors.
Do I have to pay for processing of donated elk, buck deer or buck antelope?
Yes. Due to need for more incentive to take and donate doe deer and doe antelope for population control purposes (in cooperation with the Department of Game, Fish and Parks), as well as lack of funds, SDSAH is paying only on processing cost of antlerless deer and doe/fawn antelope. SDSAH is not currently assisting with payment for processing of donated elk, buck deer and buck antelope. Hunters who donate elk, buck deer and buck antelope, and pay the processing fee, are greatly appreciated.
Do I need to get my West River deer or elk, or deer taken in Sully County east of the Missouri River, tested for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in order to donate?
No. SDSAH has discontinued the requirement for CWD testing. Since there is still some risk that any harvested big game may have a disease, or be contaminated with lead bullet fragments, a notice will be given to clients of food pantries having processed donated game meat that this risk exists and must decide for themselves if they want to obtain this meat for consumption. No evidence exists that CWD can be transferred to humans by eating the meat.
How do I donate Canada Geese?
Only Canada geese taken during specific dates of the August Management Take and Early Fall Canada Goose Season in September may be donated. No snow geese may be donated through SDSAH at the present time. The processing costs for donated Canada geese will be paid by SDSAH. Simply take the birds to a participating goose processor, and fill out a goose processing certificate (one certificate for all birds bagged and donated by you that day). The certificate is worth $3.00 per bird for breast meat only, and $5.00 per whole bird, which the processor will accept as full payment for processing. Some processors may only accept breast meat and not whole birds. The list of goose processors will indicate which processors take whole carcasses and which ones will take only breast meat.
Are there special requirements for transporting Canada geese to be donated?
Federal regulations stipulate that the head or one fully feathered wing remain attached to each bird at all times while being transported from the place where harvested until they have arrived at the personal home of the hunter or a processing facility. However, if harvested geese cannot be donated the day they are harvested, and are taken to the hunter’s home for cleaning, hunters are allowed to donate a cleaned goose (breast meat) at a later date by delivering it to a participating SAH goose processor.
Who gets the meat that I donate?
The meat you donate goes through several steps to reach needy people across the state. By coordinating through Feeding South Dakota, there are over 350 locations in South Dakota which may receive donated meat for distribution. The path the donated meat takes is that once the donated animal is delivered to a participating processor the meat is processed into burger and frozen. Through prior arrangements the frozen donated meat is then delivered to a local or nearby public food pantry. Lastly, the food pantry rations the donated meat to families in need who qualify for food assistance.