Each year, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game seizes unlawfully taken fish and wildlife that is often processed and donated to charity organizations.
After each case in finalized through the court system and with the magistrate’s approval, Fish and Game donates the edible meat and fish to local food banks, church groups and helping-hand organizations that distribute to those in need. Most of the game meat is confiscated in the fall, so donations usually increase during the holiday months, allowing some to have more food on the table during Thanksgiving and Christmas.
According to Justin Williams, Fish and Game district conservation officer in Salmon, several recent wildlife violation cases involving multiple animals taken illegally have resulted in hundreds of pounds going to those in need.
“There are people throughout Idaho who are struggling and need the help” noted Williams. “It’s very satisfying knowing that the meat from unlawfully harvested game will not go to waste and local families and individuals with special needs will benefit.”
To receive game meat, an individual must qualify as indigent and sign a waiver acknowledging that they understand that the meat is non-inspected wild game. Local food banks are the contact for donated wild game.