The Iowa Department of Natural Resources has created a new free online database for sharing venison.

Iowa DNR Wildlife Bureau chief Todd Bishop says the deer exchange helps everyone share in the resource. “We have a high availability of deer tags of course — and we know there are a lot of hunters who are willing to share venison once they’ve shot enough to fill their freezer,” Bishop says.

Bishop says there have long been information networks for sharing in counties. He says sheriff departments often have a list of people willing to take a fresh roadkill deer and Bishop says this exchange is an effort to get people together who are willing to donate deer and those who would like to have some venison. It is illegal to sell the deer, the hunters have to donate it.

Bishop says the exchange lets those looking for deer provide some details for both parties. “They can use that application to contact people that are close to their county or community and figure it out from there. It is just an information exchange,” Bishop says.

He says the exchange also gives the donors information on what is needed. “You can indicate whether you would take a field-dressed whole deer or if you would prefer to take meat that was bone out or ground already. Donors can also what they would be willing to provide,” Bishop explains. He says the deer population promises to provide hunters with a lot of opportunities again this year.

“Our harvest has been pretty steady the last several years. We think there will be a lot of deer harvested this fall,” Bishop says. “We see it, and we think Iowans see that as a great resource.” Bishop says anyone interested in the program should go to the Iowa DNR website and click on the deer hunting section to learn more.

The first youth deer season opens September 19th. The first shotgun deer season opens December 9th