LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) – Just three days into deer season and Nebraska hunters are running into issues.
Some meat lockers are seeing massive increases, others are so booked because of the pandemic that they can’t even process the new animals coming in.
At the Wahoo Meat Locker, business is crazier than ever.
“I’ve never seen anything like this. Not even close. The longest we were ever booked out was five months or so,” said owner Charlie Emswiler.
Emswiler told 10/11 NOW it all started in March at the beginning of the pandemic when there was a meat shortage. It didn’t take long for things to change.
“Every customer that we have wants to butcher about 40-50% more and it’s almost impossible,” said Emswiler.
When it comes to beef and pork, he said they’re actually booked through the middle of 2022 and they’re having to turn away long-time customers because they’re just too busy.
Right now it’s deer season and they stop processing beef and pork for three weeks to process deer.
This year, they’re already seeing a large increase.
“I will say we’re up about 30-35% in the first three days, which is a pretty big increase,” said Emswiler.
10/11 NOW called another Nebraska meat locker, they said they aren’t even taking deer because they’re so full. Something not surprising to Nebraska Game and Parks.
“We’re up like some 7,000 deer permits this year, which is probably somewhere in that 5-10% range,” said Luke Meduna.
Luckily Emswiler said he thinks they’ll be able to hang in there until Thanksgiving and will not have to turn down any deer.
He said for anyone going to any meat locker right now, you need to be patient.
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