Illinois Department of Natural Resources officials are encouraging sportsmen to donate deer meat to food banks and charities as the fall hunting seasons approach. The department has a list of participating meat processors who will grind venison into 2-pounds packages. The Illinois Sportsmen Against Hunter program will offer $50 to help pay for the cost of processing whole deer donations. Hunters must properly field dress deer before delivering the game to meat processors. Processors won't accept questionable deer. Road kill deer can't be donated because it isn't possible to determine the animal's time of death.
The youth firearm deer season starts Saturday. The firearm deer seasons for this year start November 16 and November 29. Muzzleloader seasons begin November 29 and December 7.
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