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HUSH (Help Us Stop Hunger) is a collaborative effort among Iowa deer hunters, Iowa’s food banks, and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

Through this program, we accomplish two goals:

  • Provide high-quality protein to Iowans struggling with hunger
  • Help manage Iowa’s deer population

Between 2020-2021, hunters donated more than 49,000 pounds of venison for our neighbors in need! When a participating hunter wants to make a donation, he or she takes a legally harvested deer to a participating meat locker, where the deer is dressed and converted into ground venison. Two-pound tubes of frozen ground venison are distributed through Iowa food banks to food pantries, meal sites, and other emergency food providers.

Find a participating locker near you (PDF)

Program Details

  • All deer hunters must have a deer permit to harvest deer, whether or not they donate the deer to HUSH. Donated deer must be tagged before being transported, just as any other harvested deer.
  • Any legally-taken, wild Iowa deer from any season and any sex may be donated at any one of the lockers shown on the HUSH Locker List map.
  • Hunters must donate the whole deer.
  • Deer must be field dressed; lockers prefer a clean carcass without mud on the hide.
  • Lockers also prefer the carcass not be frozen.
  • Deer hunters must fill out a Hunter HUSH Card at the locker for each deer being donated.
  • HUSH does not accept road killed deer.
  • Lockers cannot require hunters to skin or bone HUSH deer.
  • There is no additional fee to be paid at the locker.

Questions? Contact Stephanie Lawrence, Iowa DNR, at or 515-725-8265.

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