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HUSH: Help Us Stop Hunger

HUSH is a cooperative effort among deer hunters, the Food Bank of Iowa, meat lockers and the Iowa DNR. The two main goals of HUSH include:

(1) reducing the deer population while

(2) providing high-quality red meat to the needy in Iowa.

Whether you're a deer hunter, a locker owner or volunteer in your community, there is a vital role you can play.


Thank you to all of the hunters who donated deer to the HUSH program during the 2012-2013 hunting season. This season 5,281 deer were donated, generating 880,000 meals to Iowa's less fortunate!


HUSH hunting

As a hunter, consider buying extra antlerless-only deer permits to help reduce the deer population. By participating in HUSH, hunters can continue to hunt after they would normally stop and thus help reduce the deer population and provide high-quality venison for the needy in Iowa. You can donate any legally taken deer of any sex from any season. For the avid deer hunter in Iowa this presents itself as the perfect opportunity to hunt longer and have a direct impact in a local community.

Hunters must be properly licensed to hunt deer.  All deer licenses include a $1 per deer surcharge to fund the HUSH program.

Participating lockers skin, bone and grind the meat into two-pound packages of pure venison. Local social service agencies distribute the venison to needy Iowa families in the area. The 89 lockers that participated in 2012-2013 received $75 for each processed deer. Find a locker near you.

The Iowa DNR partners with the Food Bank of Iowa and their affiliates throughout the state to make sure the venison is distributed to qualified Iowans.  The Food Bank of Iowa receives $5 administrative cost for each deer distributed.

About the HUSH program:

  • 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.

If you have any questions, please email James.Coffey@dnr.iowa.gov or call (641) 774-2958.


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