OK I have to admit this law change caught me by surprise mainly because I had no idea that it was not legal to donate wild turkey meat. A hunter can not sell the meat. Thanks to 2015 Wisconsin Act 31 and AB107 wild turkey are now the same value as deer.
It was legal to donate a wild turkey to whomever a hunter desired to give it to. What’s changed is the payment to the processor of the turkey. If a county decides to operate a donation program and pay for all the processing they’ll be reimbursed by the state.
Under current law, the Department of Natural Resources administers a program to reimburse eligible counties for the costs incurred in processing and donating venison from certain deer (venison donation program). To be eligible for participation in the venison donation program, the county must accept deer carcasses for processing, it must pay the costs of the processing, and it must make reasonable efforts to donate the venison to a food distribution service or a charitable organization. Another eligibility requirement is that the county must participate in the wildlife damage abatement program and the wildlife damage claim program (wildlife damage programs). The wildlife damage programs reimburse a county for certain costs incurred for providing abatement assistance or for paying damage claims with respect to wildlife damage that occurs in the county. The venison donation program is funded in part by a wildlife damage surcharge on, and by voluntary contributions paid by persons who purchase, certain hunting approvals.This bill expands the venison donation program to include wild turkey. Under the bill, a county is eligible to receive reimbursement for the costs incurred in processing and donating wild turkey, as well as the costs incurred in processing and donating venison, if the county accepts deer or wild turkey carcasses for processing and meets the other eligibility requirements for participation in the program.
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