Missouri's Share the Harvest program helps deer hunters donate surplus venison to the needy. This program is administered by the Conservation Federation of Missouri and the Missouri Department of Conservation.
Donating is easy. Simply take your deer to an approved meat processor and let the processor know how much venison you wish to donate.
If you wish to donate a deer that was harvested in a county within the CWD Management Zone, the deer must be tested for CWD, and it can only be donated to an approved processor that is participating in the Share the Harvest CWD-Testing Program.
If you want to donate a deer harvested in Adair, Barry, Barton, Camden, Cedar, Chariton, Christian, Clark, Crawford, Franklin, Gasconade, Greene, Hickory, Howell, Jefferson, Knox, Laclede, Linn, Macon, McDonald, Mercer, Oregon, Ozark, Perry, Polk, Pulaski, Putnam, Ripley, St. Charles, St. Clair, St. Francois, Ste. Genevieve, Stone, Sullivan, Taney, Vernon, Warren, or Washington counties, the deer must be tested for CWD, and it can only be donated to an approved processor participating in the Share the Harvest CWD-Testing Program.
Find a Processor
State-wide sponsors of the cost-reduction program include the Conservation Department, Conservation Federation of Missouri, Feeding Missouri, Shelter Insurance, Missouri Chapter National Wild Turkey Federation, Bass Pro Shops, and Gateway Area Chapter of Safari Club International.
Donating Deer from the CWD Management Zone
Deer taken within the CWD Management Zone must be donated to approved processors in one of those
Note: If you harvest a deer within the CWD Management Zone, you don’t have to donate your deer in the county in which it was harvested. You may take the deer to an approved processor in another CWD Management Zone county. For example, a deer harvested in Macon County may be donated to an approved processor in Adair County, because both are within the CWD Management Zone.
Deer harvested from within the CWD Management Zone without proof of CWD sampling or adequate tissue for testing (i.e. the head has been removed) will not be eligible for Share the Harvest.
- If your deer is sampled before you go to an approved processor for donation, you must present the CWD barcode number to the processor as proof of sampling.
- If a sample has not been collected when you present your deer for donation, the processor will collect the sample or remove the head and submit it to the Conservation Department for sampling.
Processors who are not participating in the Share the Harvest CWD Testing Program cannot accept deer from any CWD Management Zone county.
If you harvested a deer outside of the CWD Management Zone, you may donate your deer to any Share the Harvest processor.
What’s Required to Collect a CWD Sample?
- CWD samples are collected from the neck of the deer and require a large incision through the cape.
- The head may be removed from the deer prior to sampling if you leave approximately 4–6 inches of the neck attached to the head and present the head for sampling.
- It is OK to remove the cape from a deer before presenting the head for CWD sampling.
Why is CWD Testing Required for Share the Harvest in the CWD Management Zone?
CWD is a disease of deer and elk. Although there have been no identified cases of CWD transmission to humans, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the following precautions:
- Hunters in areas known to have CWD should test their deer for CWD before eating meat from the deer.
- Deer that test positive for CWD should not be consumed.
- In general, if a deer looks or acts sick, it should not be consumed.
CWD testing requirements have been put in place for the CWD Management Zone to ensure that deer donated to Share the Harvest are tested in accordance with the CDC’s recommendations.