Deer hunters have been in the field harvesting deer during the archery season and more will hit the field during the November firearm season — some for the love of the hunt and others for meat.

Some deer hunters love to be in the field and truly love the hunt itself, while others may have multiple permits giving them more deer than their freezer space allows. Others may hunt specifically for the meat. No matter the type of hunter, the deer exchange program through Nebraska Game and Parks Commission is a great resource for those who either need to give deer meat away, or those wishing to have some fresh deer meat on the table.

Non-hunters can benefit from the program, especially those who enjoy the flavor of deer meat or need the meat.

The Deer Exchange is available Sept. 1 through March 1 and is free for anyone to register for online at outdoornebraska.gov/deerexchangeprogram. Donors and recipients can search the database on the Nebraska Game and Parks website for interested parties in their area. The parties can then contact each other and work out details of the deer meat transfer. While venison cannot be sold, recipients may pay for the processing or butchering of the meat.

The NGPC is not responsible for the quality of the deer meat or the failure of the donor or recipient to follow through with the transfer. However, the agency provides the necessary transfer cards online making this program simple to complete.

Recipients will have the choice of accepting whole field dressed deer, skinned and boned deer, wrapped and frozen deer or processed meat. Donors are responsible for properly field dressing and checking deer at a check station before transfer.

When transferring game animals, the hunter must provide name, phone number, permit number or seal number, estimated weight of meat in pounds, species of animal, date taken, signature of donor and name of recipient.

Other benefits of the program include supplying a source of protein to the hungry, increasing communication between hunters and non-hunters and increasing hunter recruitment, development and retention.

The nutritional benefits of venison is unsurpassed, and it’s no wonder deer is a popular meat.

According to nutritiondata.com, 100 grams of ground, pan-broiled venison has 187 calories, compared to 246 for the same portion of 80-percent lean pan-broiled ground beef. Venison has 26.5 grams of protein, compared to beef’s 24, and 8.2 grams of total fat to beef’s 15.9. Venison is also low in sodium.

Getting outdoors and enjoying a deer hunt is time well spent in the field. Not only do you get a front row seat to beautiful scenery, the animals you encounter bring lasting memories and hunters have the opportunity to share their quarry with

others.

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