SHADY SPRING, WV (WOAY) – Buck season has officially begun and with that, business at Hunter’s Choice, a deer meat processing company in Shady Spring, is really starting to pick up.
Nick Barstad is the lead cutter at Hunter’s Choice responsible for turning game into packaged meat.
“Well when they come in, we figure out what they want to do with the head if they’ve got a buck and they want to keep a trophy from it, whether they want it caped out or give them the head back and keep the horns, sort that out,” Barstad said. “And we bring it in to the cooler so it stays nice and cold and then we hang it, skin it, hang it again and then it moves on in the cutting room and then we’ll break it down in the major parts onto the individual cuts that the customer requested.”
Frank Willis, who got lucky with his first deer of the season in the woods of Fayette County, says Hunter’s Choice has been his choice for years.
“They do an excellent job,” Willis said. “When they cut the deer, they always cut it to my specifications. They have some great summer sausage that they make. They also have some jerky and deer steak and so forth that they make, and their products are really good.”
For the meat cutters, it’s not a job for a weak stomach but as someone who has been cutting various types of meat practically his whole life, Barstad says it’s a job he takes pride in.
“It’s a service to the community. Everyone’s really happy to be able to have someone to bring their deer to,” Barstad said. “There’s just a lot of positivity about it. It seems to be a part of the culture in the area so I enjoy it.”
And there’s a reason why you won’t find hours posted on the outside.
“Our hours are when you need a deer cut so there’s a number on the door you can call,” Barstad said. “We’re around.”
They will be around for the rest of the season at 447 1st St. in Shady Spring.