Deer Hunters Head Out For Opening Day

The staff at Merindorf Meats is preparing to take hundreds of deer from a carcass to a finished product their customers can enjoy all year long. And they're planning to do the bulk of that work in just the next few days, as firearm season kicks off.

"We do bring in extra people just for a short time, in just two of three weeks. We try to get our friends to come in and hang out with us," said Linn Merinforf and Chloe Merindorf, Owners of Merindorf Meats

The Merindorfs say they've already processed about 400 deer during archery hunting season, up 25 percent from last year, so they think this year's firearm season will be a busy one.

"The people that are seeing deer are seeing a lot of deer. We had a gentleman bring in two deer. He shot two bucks that morning, so he's been seeing deer," said the Merindorfs.

Department of Natural Resources deer and elk leader Brent Rudolph says more people will be bringing in deer to places like Merindorf's this year because more will out looking for deer. He says interest in the sport is growing in Michigan.

"So far this year we're on a two percent incease pace in terms of the number of licensed hunters," said Brent Rudolph, Deer and Elk Program Leader for the DNR.

And the outbreak of Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease or EHD that killed a lot of deer the past two summers ago, espcially in ionia county, shouldn't impact the population as much this year.

"This summer was a much milder occurance. We didn't really have any in the Mid-Michigan area reported, so deer populations, if you're around a place that has been effected, should be on the rise," said Rudolph.

A healthy deer population and more hunters could mean a lot of shots. will be fired this season.

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