Can You Sell Venison?

There are no laws prohibiting the sale of venison. However, venison sold in markets must be inspected and certified for wholesomeness. these inspections are done by state and federal inspection programs.


Wild game that has been legally imported are also considered to have passed all required inspections before coming into the country which means that they are safe for sale.

Hunter usually want to keep what they get and are not trying to profit. If they have too much many give away.

Game meat is good for hearty meals especially if you come from a hunting family. It is also not uncommon for local hunters to come home with more meat than their families can eat. This often results in them sharing or even selling their game meat. But is this practice legal in your state?



What is considered venison or wild game?

Venison or wild game meat is any meat that is harvested from any large animal including wild game like deer and elk. This meat can come from any part of the animal as long as it can be consumed, including the innards. Any meat that is sold must pass through state inspections according to parameters that may vary from state to state.


Venison that does not pass these inspections will not be given the certificate for sale and cannot be legally sold in any market within that state. Most states have similar policies for meat from the native species that should not be sold under any circumstances. This means that venison from these restricted animals will not be inspected and cannot be sold in any market.


Agencies that Inspect Game Meat

Unified federal policies over wild game meat are often vague and there is no unifying law that requires federal inspections of meat that are not considered traditional meats such as pork, beef, or poultry. Today most states implement their own inspection programs so long as their standards are on par with USDA inspection standards.


Consumers know that meat has been inspected if it comes packaged with the logo or seal of the inspecting body. Without the official seal, venison for sale has not undergone inspection and may be unsafe for public consumption.


In times when diseases can easily come from uninspected meat, knowing that your meat comes from trusted sources is one of the first steps to ensure that your food is safe to eat. If you and your family consume wild games on a regular basis, it is important to only buy meats from sellers who comply with inspection regulations for venison.


Infographic of cuts of venison: