Successful hunters keep local meat processors busy

Published: Nov. 23, 2020 at 1:53 PM CST
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HOWARD, Wis. (WBAY) - Opening weekend of the gun deer season is in the books, and that means the rush is on at local meat processors.

At Maplewood Meats just outside Green Bay, the Monday after the opening of deer season is hectic.

“Crazy as always,” says Maplewood Meats Plant Manager Brad Van Hemelryk with a smile.

“And now the rush, yes, that’s why we try to get here early,” adds hunter Joe Ver Haagh from Green Bay.

For Ver Haagh and his family hunting in Oconto County, the season didn’t last past Saturday morning.

“We were kind of done by 9:30, my nephew got three, I shot a buck and a doe and my son shot a doe,” says Ver Haagh.

With the archery harvest up 10-percent this year, and license sales for gun season up 10-percent as well, meat processors like Maplewood say they’ve as busy as ever.

“An increased volume due to people obviously wanting to be outside in an activity that in its natural essence allows you to be socially distanced,” says Van Hemelryk.

Hunters we spoke with say Covid-19 precautions were certainly on their minds over the weekend, but the pandemic didn’t impact their actual hunt.

“Just me and my son-in-law that hunt on the 48 acres, so no issues there, but we like to go out and get something to eat, so just had to watch the local restaurants and things like that,” says Vic Pace from Kenosha, who hunts in Calumet County.

“We kind of made some adjustments, we kept some distance, but everything went well,” adds Ver Haagh.

Leaving hunters grateful for a weekend getaway that proved to be successful, and maybe more importantly, a nice diversion.

“I’m 68 years old, I’ve been doing it since I was 21 I think it was, and it’s just something to get away from the every day anxiety of life and that,” says Pace.

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