The Park Rapids Minnesota Deer Hunters Association (MDHA) chapter collected 969 deer hides in the 2018 hunting season.

MDHA’s Hides for Habitat Program is designed to take donated deer hides provided by deer hunters and market those hides. Deer skin makes a high-quality leather. The end use for most of the hides is the Italian clothing industry – handbags, leather clothing and shoes.

Nearly every dollar from the Hides for Habitat Program is matched by state, federal, local and private funds.

Donate your hide

Deer hides may be donated until mid-December.

Collection boxes will be at the following locations:

  • Cwikla ACE Hardware, Park Rapids

  • Cenex C Store on 810 Main Ave., Park Rapids

  • Cenex C Store, Akeley

  • The DNR Trails & Waterways office, Nevis

  • Osage Bait & Tackle

  • Orton’s Food & Market East, Park Rapids

  • NAPA Auto Parts on 801 S. Park Ave., Park Rapids

  • Super One in Walker

  • Two Inlets Country Store on County Highway 44.

Proceeds raised by the sale of the hides are earmarked for use by the Park Rapids chapter for habitat projects throughout the area.

Between 1996 and 2018, the Park Rapids MDHA contributed $75,000 for outdoor education, $700,000 toward habitat and land management and $30,000 in local donations.

The Park Rapids MDHA chapter sponsors, staffs, funds or donates to firearms safety classes, Deep Portage trips for Park Rapids and Nevis students, the Park Rapids Area High School Clay Dusters trap team, Archery in Schools Program, Archery in the Park Program at Itasca State Park, Envirothon, Fresh Water Festival, Let’s Go Fishing for seniors, trail seeding and many other projects.

Last year, they also made a $1,500 donation to the United Federation for Disabled Archers hunt at Camp Wilderness.

The Park Rapids chapter manages over $700,000 in Conservation Partners Legacy Grants through the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Funds benefit numerous public lands, like wildlife management areas, in Hubbard and surrounding counties.

Deer hide tips

Proper care of the deer hide will ensure quality leather. Skin the deer as soon after harvest as possible. When skinning, minimize cutting hide by pulling it off the carcass, if possible. Leave the tail on the hide and as much of the hide intact as possible.

The deer head and limbs are considered household waste and may be taken to the south transfer station. A special dumpster has been set up there for this purpose.

Remove excess chunks of flesh and fat before rolling up the hide and placing it into a paper bag or cardboard box, not a plastic bag.

For a list of official MDHA Hides for Habitat collection boxes, visit www.mndeerhunters.com or call 800-450-DEER.