How to donate your harvest
Almost every deer hunter I talk to can agree on one thing: One deer provides a lot of food! In fact, it has been estimated that one deer can provide up to 200 servings of meat that is high in protein and low in fat!
In North Carolina, the deer harvest limit is six deer (exceptions apply). For many individuals or families, that is simply too much venison to use at home. In fact, many deer hunters that have early season success will stop hunting well before the deer season ends because they simply do not have a need for so much venison.
OCOM’s deer harvest donation program gives hunters more options during the hunting season, to both extend their hunting season and help their neighbors in need.
When you donate a deer, 100% of the processing, packaging and delivery costs are paid for by Orange County Outdoors Ministry.
Benefits of the OCOM Deer Harvest Donation Program
- You can make an immediate positive impact on hunger in your own hometown. Maybe even in your own neighborhood!
- Your donation stays within our operating area. Do you have a family or organization that can benefit from venison donations? You can choose where your harvest is donated!
- Do you hunt for meat and have already filled your freezer? Extend your hunting season by hunting for a deer you can donate and fill the freezers of those need.
How to donate: It’s easier than you think!
Know and follow your local laws!
- North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission http://ncwildlife.org/
- All deer harvests donated to OCOM must be legally harvested and the deer must be reported using your big game harvest report card.
- Information about the big game harvest report card can be found at http://ncwildlife.org/Licensing/Hunting-Fishing-Trapping-Licenses/Big-Game-Harvest-Reporting-Info/What-is-a-big-game-harvest-report-card-
- OCOM will not make any exceptions to this rule. We will not accept a deer that has not been legally harvested and reported.
Did you harvest a deer that you would like to donate?
Report your harvest and obtain your harvest ID information.
Prepare the harvest for delivery (when in doubt, contact us)
- If it is early in the season and warm, and you cannot reach a processor quickly, it is highly recommended that you field dress the deer. The deer does not have to be skinned.
- If it is late in the season and the temperatures are cold, you can drop off the deer without field dressing.
- Timing and temperatures are important, so when in doubt, call us.
Gammon’s Meat Processing (livestock and wild game processor)
- If you are in the Alamance and Orange County area, you can take your harvest to Gammon’s Meat Processing. We have worked with Gammon’s for years and they do an excellent job.
- Their address is: 5573 Oscar Gammon Road, Mebane NC 27302; Phone (336) 421-9413
- Tell the staff that you are donating to Orange County Outdoors Ministry, provide your Harvest ID number, and you are done! OCOM will cover the cost of processing the deer and pick it up when packaged and ready for donation.
- During deer season, Gammon’s accepts deer every day of the week and they are happy to help from early in the morning until after sunset. It is always helpful to call them when you are on your way so they can prepare accordingly.
Do you have a processor that you want to use? This can certainly be arranged and you will need to call us to discuss.
Processing at Home
While there are some very skilled wild game processors out there, quality control is critical and we do not accept wild game donations that have been processed outside of known processor entities.
Donating directly to OCOM volunteers
If you cannot arrange to take your deer harvest to a processor, we can take the deer to the processor for you. This can be challenging for a small operation like ours, but our network of volunteers will do everything we can to help get the deer donated (we have even been known to help retrieve deer from the field when needed!).
To arrange for help, call us at (919) 257-0154.
Wildlife Depredation Permits and Donation
To donate deer out of season, the deer must be taken with a Depredation Permit. A state Depredation Permit is required for taking wildlife causing damage (under certain conditions) and these permits are typically free of charge.
The NC Wildlife Helpline is 1-866-318-2401 to inquire further about obtaining a depredation permit.
Deer harvested under a depredation permit must be reported and the depredation permit number will be used when donating the deer to the processor.
Motor Vehicle and Deer Collisions
Many processors do not process deer that have been killed due to a motor vehicle collision. The quality of the harvest and processing cannot be guaranteed and therefore we do not accept donations resulting for car accidents.