Deer processors cash in on rifle season opener - WNEM TV 5

Deer processors cash in on rifle season opener

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BAY COUNTY, MI (WNEM) -

Christmas came early for hunters across Michigan Thursday morning, which was the opening day of the firearm deer season.  But it's not just hunters excited about big bucks - the season also means some local businesses are cashing in because of the lucky hunters.

Josh Perritt's truck is loaded with camo cans of beer, snacks and even beef jerky from The Jerky Outlet.  He couldn't make it out for opening day because he had to work, but now clocked out, he was on his way to his Grayling hunting camp to meet up with two buddies.

"We had to cut, pull a few strings more or less, it took an act of Congress to get the day off," said Perritt.  "It's pretty cut and dry we've got a good spot."

He'll be in that spot Friday morning and will spend all weekend trying to bag himself a buck.

"I hope to have a big furry critter with about 12 points on top, strapped to the top of the truck, before it's all over," Perritt laughed.

It's hunters like Perritt who keep Craig Owczarzak's meat cutting skills sharp.  He owns Meats and Mooore in Bay City.

"I've been doing it for a lot of years," said Perritt.

He has already seen more than a dozen deer on opening day and by the end of the hunting season, he says his hands will have processed some 400 deer and it'll mean a good ring to the register.

"We do jerky, we do hickory sticks, we do bratwurst," said Owczarzak.

He'll even vacuum seal the meat for you but the catch is you have to shoot one before you can get this far.

And for those hunters that go "O"-for this year, there's always The Jerky Store on the way back from 'Up North.'"

"If you don't get your deer, you can always fall back on your venison," laughed Perritt.

Rifle season runs through Nov. 30 in Michigan.

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