A successful opening weekend sees venison processors busy as ever

Geiss Meat Service in Merrill received 200 deer the first weekend alone
Published: Nov. 20, 2023 at 6:14 PM CST
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MERRILL, Wis. (WSAW) - With the opening weekend of the gun deer hunt here and gone, it’s now time for butcher shops to step up.

So, what happens to a harvested deer when it’s processed, and what does it look like?

“We’ll get anywhere from 50 deer that day,” said Izayah King, packing manager at Geiss Meat Service. “We’ve gotten like over 200 deer in just the weekend itself.”

The gun deer season is the busiest time of the year at Geiss Meat Service and despite the large amount of deer they’re seeing, this isn’t unusual for them. The processing of the deer begins right away when you bring yours in.

“Once they stop, they’ll go up into the back office,” King said. “That’s where the ladies back there, they’ll get all of their information, they’ll get all their paperwork situated.”

Once all the necessary paperwork is filled out, it’s time to head out to the skid steer to really get the process going.

“Make sure the legs are chopped off, and then they throw them on a rack so that they can get cooled properly,” King explained.

The deer are then taken into a different building where they are cut up into bigger sections so the next station can cut them up into smaller portions including steaks. From there, those smaller pieces head over to another machine that King operates.

“Once I get done weighing all this stuff up over here, I put it in on this side,” she said. “This forms the plastic into this nice pocket shape.”

After the machine processes them, they’re sent to the packaging manager for the final stage — putting tags on the products.

“We’ll run it through the machine and package it,” said Cari Seis, packing manager at Geiss Meat Service. “Then you know just, stick everybody’s name on there. Label the boxes and everything.”

Over the years, crews have made tweaks so the whole process can run more efficiently for everyone, including customers.