Montana Hunting Season is here and if you are headed to your favorite spot, it is a good time to think about what you want to do once you harvest that trophy Buck, Bull, or Gobbler. When hunting, as the experienced know, it is just as important to use the meat that you take as it is scouting, tracking, and taking the animal.   "Waste Not Want Not" are words to live by when hunting game.  What do you do with all of the meat?  Here are some solutions for proper use.

Donate Your Game Through the Montana Food Bank Network (MFBN)

It is really easy to donate your wild game to those in need.  Find a participating processor and they will take it, process it into hamburger, freeze it, and donate it to the closest food bank or food pantry closest to their location.  If venison is not your taste, give it to those in need.  Hunters can also donate money to the program by checking a box on their tag application.  For a list of participating processors click here.

Give Your Meat to Friends and Family

Not all Montanans like the taste of the wild game, but usually, in a group, there are one or two that love it.  Make a deal with your family member or friend.  You bag the game and they take care of the processing.  Either give it all to them or keep what you like.

Buy A Freezer and Stock Up for Your Own Montana Winter

Many Montanans use their wild game as their primary source of protein.  They often butcher it themselves and preserve it in a variety of ways.  Better cuts are cut and wrapped, while lesser cuts are ground into Burger or dried into Jerkey.

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There are so many great recipes to use.  The Food Network offers an entire page of recipes here. I am sure there are a couple you will like.  Everyone has their own tricks for making the meat the best it can be and friends share ideas and recipes every day.

pile of beef jerky shot with selective focus
Credit: rez-art, Getty Images

No matter your choice of animal to hunt, remember it is your job to be sure that nothing is wasted.  It is important that you follow the rule, "Waste Not Want Not"  Do that and you will have a great, full-circle Montana hunting experience.

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