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'Over double': Door County meat processor takes in record number of deer during big hunting weekend

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Posted at 10:24 PM, Nov 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-22 16:19:24-05

STURGEON BAY, Wis. (NBC 26) — With over 100 deer in his possession, it was a record gun deer hunting weekend for Keith Birnschein, who's been processing meat with his family for 25 years.

As far as working at the shop on a Sunday: "never done that before."

And with a week left in the season, the Birnscheins might have their work cut out for them.

"I'm scared," Birnschein said.

On just the second day of the gun deer hunting season, local businesses like Door County Custom Meats say they're processing more meat than in previous years.

"Numbers were double yesterday and over double today for sure of any other year since we've been doing this," Birnschein, a co-owner of Door County Custom Meats, said.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average price of beef per pound in the Midwest has risen by over a dollar to around $4.85 over the last year.

The owners say they believe their growing business is caused by higher meat prices across the country. They say many hunters can get their own food for a cheaper price.


"People are taking advantage of being able to put some meat in their freezer for the price of a gun deer tag," Birnschein said.

Co-owner Jaci Birnschein says hunters are driving nearly two hours all the way from Marinette to drop off their deer.

"There are lots of deer," she said. "You have to make sure that everybody gets their own meat back."

Their products range from ground venison to jerkey to sausage.

"The past two days have been wonderful for us, more elevated than the past couple years, which is very good," Jaci said. "So I hope it continues."

To learn more about using Door County Custom Meats, the owners say you can call or email.