Cleveland business expects to process 10 tons of deer meat this season

CLEVELAND - Meat processing businesses are gearing up for a busy dear hunting season, which kicked off in Ohio on Monday.

"There's no rest for me," said Brian Foster, who operates his own business, Brian's Deer Cutting, out of his home garage on Cleveland's west side.

Foster and his four-member team expect to process about 300 deer for hunters this season, which runs through Sunday. There's also an extra weekend Dec. 15 to 16.

"Opening day is by far the most popular day," said Jamey Emmert of the Ohio Division of Wildlife, who added that Monday's sunny skies contributed to a successful start of the hunting season.

More than 420,000 hunters are expected to participate this season, bringing in about $860 million in revenue to the state of Ohio.

"We have a very healthy, stable, sustainable population of white tail deer in Ohio," said Emmert.

A healthy deer population and nice weather is a good combination for Foster, who's processed meat for the past 13 years.

"I think it's going to be a real good week," he said.

Ohio ranks eighth nationally in annual hunting-related sales and 10th in the number of jobs associated with hunting-related industries.

Emmert said it's important for humans and animals to keep the sport alive.

"It keeps the population in check, keeping deer healthy, reducing conflicts with humans," she said.

Earlier this month, a deer smashed through the windshield of a moving car in Lorain County, killing the driver inside.

The state's division of wildlife encourages hunters to feed the hungry by donating deer meat, and Brian's Deer Cutting is a participating processor. More information about donating extra meat can be found at fhfh.org or by calling Brian's Deer Cutting at 216-671-8402.

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