The mission of South Dakota Sportsmen Against Hunger is to encourage and facilitate donation of wild game meat to needy people in South Dakota.
One out of every seven persons in South Dakota (or over 100,000 people) live at or below the poverty level according to Feeding South Dakota. About one-half of these people are children and infants. A primary food shortage is fresh meat which is in high demand and difficult to obtain. Of particular demand is game meat because of its nutritional value in having low fat and high protein content.
Even though deer and antelope populations are currently low in many areas of the state, SDSAH wants to allow hunters the opportunity to donate deer and antelope if they so desire in order to help needy families. Hunters have responded to needs for increased deer and antelope harvest in the past, and increased meat donation accordingly. And now that deer and antelope populations are lower, hunters have continued to donate game meat to needy families. In fall, winter and spring 2014-15, 37,643 pounds of game meat were provided to needy families through SDSAH and local food relief agencies. This meat was primarily a result of hunters donating 563 deer, 10 antelope, 5,032 pheasants and 4,554 Canada geese. Other game meat came from community game meat food drives, hunter direct donations of processed meat to food relief agencies, and salvage processing of confiscated or non-hunter killed game.
South Dakota hunters have now donated 788,037 pounds of game meat to needy families. That's over 3,150,000 meals of meat for the hungry! However, we need even more help!
Noteworthy in 2015
Due to the success of a Canada goose donation program for geese harvested in the 2013 and 2014 August Management Take and Early Fall Canada Goose Season, and due to Canada goose populations in the eastern one-fourth of the state still being over-abundant, the donation program will be continued in 2015 with the opportunity to donate Canada geese taken during the August Management Take dates of August 15 - 31 and September 1 - 18 of the Early Fall Canada goose season. (For hunting regulations go to "South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks" under "Links" on this SDSAH website)
Hunters are encouraged to take Canada geese as allowed and, if surplus to the hunter's own use, to donate the extra birds to needy families through designated goose processors where the processing costs will be paid by SDSAH through use of goose processing certificates available from the processors. Processed goose meat will be delivered from the processors to food relief agencies for distribution to needy families.