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What To Do With a Deer Heart? Give It To An Eagle, Says REGI

Michele Woodford
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

With just a few days left in Wisconsin’s gun deer season, hunters who do get a deer may be looking for a use for its heart.

Marge Gibson of Antigo’s Raptor Education Group says that organ is an ideal food for eagles and other raptors. 

“The deer heart is a perfect food for our birds. We currently have 42 bald eagles in our care, and they go through an awful lot of food. So it’s an excellent source of protein for them, and it’s hunters helping hunters.”

Every year the wildlife rehabilitation center asks for donations of deer hearts.

Gibson says the bird patients go through hundreds of pounds of meat every week. 

Livers and most other organs aren’t accepted, though other lean parts of the deer are.

REGI’s Have a Heart program often collects hundreds of deer hearts during the gun deer season.

Hunters can freeze the heart and then drop it off at collection points around the state. 

Those locations include Ken’s Meat Market in Antigo, Prime Choice Meat Market in Eagle River, the Tackle Box in Land o Lakes, and Ministry Rehab in Rhinelander.

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