Hunting booms as a respite from COVID-19

Business is booming for game processors this hunting season.

While many indoor leisure activities and spectator sports have been curtailed by the pandemic, hunters are more fortunate: The great outdoors isn’t shuttered by health restrictions.

Game processors in Michigan and elsewhere in the Great Lakes Basin say business is promising so far — and they expect continued steady customer traffic through the end of the season.

Some hunters who are working fewer hours due to the pandemic are using their extra time to seek deer, bear and other game.

“This hunting season has started out with a boom,” said Donna Luft, who owns and operates Luft Farm Wild Game Processing with her husband in Crystal Falls.

Bow season — when hunters can use only bows and arrows to kill game — is ongoing in many states. In Michigan, it began Oct. 1 and runs through Nov. 14. It runs again from Dec. 1 to Jan 1.

“We are up 50% from last year and [have seen] a lot of really nice bucks,” Luft said. “If this is any indication of how the season is going to be, we are going to be very busy.”

The manager of a processing shop in Wisconsin reports he’s also had a busy first few weeks of bow season.

“The count for bow season is probably double what it was last year,” said Jeff Zupan, who manages Bunzel’s Deer Processing in Milwaukee. “It’s been very busy.”

Bow season in Wisconsin began on Sept. 12 and runs through Jan. 3.

Bunzel’s employs 14 butchers to process deer and sometimes bigger game, such as elk and black bear.

While the catering end of his business has taken a hit because of pandemic restrictions that limit large groups, over-the-counter business has jumped, Zupan said.

“We’ve seen more people out, just because there’s so many more people off of work and working from home that can get out and set their schedules a little bit differently,” Zupan said.

The arrival of hunting season offered his customers some respite from the pandemic, he said.

“A lot of these people, myself included, are campers,” Zupan said. “We take our RVs and we go away because it’s so nice to get out of the city where there are all these mask mandates.”

Previous Article

MEDC urges people to do their Black Friday shopping locally

Next Article

MSU to test statewide wastewater for early COVID-19 detection

Related Posts