Meat Processors Across State Facing Challenges

Firearm deer hunting season is underway right now in Michigan. Meat processors across the state are working hard to keep up.

“The trouble last year was staffing,” said Colin Kelly, owner of Kelly’s Deer Processing.

Staffing is still an issue for many meat processors across Northern Michigan.

“It affects my local regular employees,” said Kelly. “They see the disheartening of… you know… yes it’s tough to work, but our hardest part is a 10-day period from the beginning until Thanksgiving.”

In Alpena, many meat processors have either retired or closed their doors due to too much demand. In other parts of Northern Michigan, company’s are still trying to find employees to help process the meat.

“I’ve heard of a handful of people that have been having problems, said Brian Hower, owner of Untamed Archery. “In the past, it’s been hard to find somebody to process the deer and people have been stuck having to do it themselves.”

“Many people are learning to process their deer at home,” said Kelly. “Many people buy smoker’s and smoke their own meet and do their own things at home.”

Kelly said by going to a meat processor, the meat will be of better quality and will last longer. On the other hand, Hower has been hunting for years. He says as long as you educate yourself, hunters should know how to process their own meat.

“I think everyone should probably be able to do it,” said Hower. “I mean, educate yourselves and be able to do it yourself. If you don’t have to, and you want to take it to a processor, that’s great. But if you’re unable, at least be able to process it yourself and save that meat. We kind of owe it to the animal to harvest the meat.”

Categories: Michigan This Morning