Deer season brings big business to area butchers

Meat processing facilities busy following opening firearms weekend

SCOTT CITY, Mo. (KFVS) - Preliminary data from the Missouri Department of Conservation shows deer hunters in Missouri harvested more than 80,000 deer during opening weekend.

Although some deer processors are quite busy this time of year, one Heartland business prefers to take their time and deliver a quality product

It’s mid-November which means the start of deer season and Essner’s Custom Butchering in Scott City takes the time to give special attention to each hunter that comes through the door.

“We try to make sure to cater to everybody. If you want us to make the sausage, we take the time to make the sausage the way that you want it. So that you are happy with the end product. If you like to make your own sausage. We have all the supplies and seasonings you need to make your own.”

Co-Owner of Essner’s custom Butchering, Denise Essner said her business processes deer meat after the hunter has removed it from the bone.

“And bring us the boneless meat. We then bag it, keep theirs separate from everyone else’s, and then process it," she said.

At Essner’s Butchering, venison is delivered, processed and made to order to each client’s liking. But Essner said the reason why they don’t donate to food pantries because each order is custom for each client.

“We don’t have any left-over because you get all of your meat back," she said. "We do individual batches. So, you bring us your meat, trimmed and cleaned the way that you want it, and we will keep your meat separate from everyone else’s.”

She said they even cater to those who love venison but have a special diet.

“We can do different blends. Here with individual batches, you can choose if you want one-third pork, one-fourth pork, one-half pork, if you want to do beef. Your blend of beef or pork you can pick your recipe," she explained.

She said they work closely with MDC to help stop the spread of Chronic Waste Disease.

“We have to take down the hunter’s name, address, telephone number and the hunter’s telecheck confirmation id number the hunter is given when they report the animal. And that just kind of helps both of us,” she said.

MDC noted that poor weather, including rainy conditions and gusty winds, affected this year’s harvest total.

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