Sign up to donate a deer and/or use the Community Deer Cooler
What is the Venison Donation Program?
IGI’s Venison Donation Program provides high-quality, protein-rich meals to Islanders in need via partnership with the Island Food Pantry and Serving Hands.
The program is part of a collaboration between The MV Tick-borne Illness Prevention Program (the MV Tick Program) and the Island Grown Initiative (IGI) and the Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Society (MVAS) to reduce the Vineyard deer population as part of their efforts to limit tick-borne illnesses, which deer play a role. The MV Tick Program is working with private landowners to connect them with responsible hunters to reduce deer populations in residential areas. New this year, the community Deer Cooler, available to all local hunters, is a resource for hunters who want to take more deer.
How do you donate a deer?
Donations are allowed this year during archery season and most of the shotgun and black powder season.
Fill out this form, or call/text Mark McFarlane at 774 563 0702.
How do you register to use the Deer Cooler Unit?
The Deer Cooler will be located at Island Grown Initiative's Farm Hub/Thimble Farm at 80 Stoney Hill Rd off of Head of the Pond Road in Vineyard Haven. Hunters who register are welcome to hang deer for up to 10 days (per deer) from October 1st to December 15th. Drop off will be open from 8 am to 8 pm and pick up may be available for donated deer. Registration is required, the cooler will be regularly monitored by a trained staff member. The fee of $50 will be waived for those who donate a deer to the Venison Donation Program.
Hunters are reminded that registration is required for the Deer Cooler and any deer dropped off/picked up must be field-dressed, skin on, properly tagged with the registration number written on the field tag, visible for inspection and attached to the animal. Fill out this form, or call/text Mark McFarlane at 774-563-0702.
What happens with the venison?
Venison donations will be processed by The Larder under the supervision of Jefferson Monroe and given directly to the Island Food Pantry and Serving Hands with recipes for preparing, and to Island churches for weekly community suppers. IGI hopes to triple the donations this year as last years program was a success with 260 pounds of local- protein rich venison was given to Islanders who face food insecurity.