Deer processors prepare for a busy firearm season

Posted at 5:59 PM, Nov 14, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-14 17:59:58-05

COMSTOCK PARK, Mich. -- As Michigan hunters get ready for firearm season to kick off tomorrow, deer meat processors prepare for a busy rest of the year.

Gina Zeigler at Barb's Deer Processing in Comstock Park says November 15th starts the busiest time of year for them. The shop will get up to a thousand deer to process this firearm season.

"Well, right in the beginning we'll probably get 50 deer in tomorrow," she said.

Zeigler says bow season is a warm up, along with deer brought in from car accidents. Leading up to opening day, she says the shop always stocks up on meat packing paper and boxes to meet the demand.

"We've been doing deer for over 60 years here. We got repeat customers. Their kids are coming now," she said.

Zeigler anticipates processing up to a thousand deer over the next month-and-a-half.

"They're getting bigger this year. The deer are for some reason. The body size are getting massive," she said.

To keep up, Zeigler says it's all hands on deck.

"Everything works well here. We got to move 'em in and move 'em out. It works well," she said.

As part of Sportsmen Against Hunger, Zeigler says the shop's already taken in a lot of donated deer for the needy. She says people have donated 1,200 pounds so far this year.

The Department of Natural Resources also has a deer check station set up outside the shop to check for chronic wasting disease (CWD).