The most wonderful time of the year for deer hunters has come to an end.
The state deer gun hunting season closed this weekend.
As Reporter Sarah Gustin explains coolers at local butcher shops are filling up quick.
From the cutting to the sausage making--these butcher shop pros are keeping busy.
(Kim Bauer / Prairie West Meats) "Right now we are working 7 days a week and we put in anywhere from 10-12 hours a day."
This is the busiest time of the year at Prairie West Meats in New Salem.
Kim Bauer says opening deer weekend is the kickoff to the busy season and it doesn't let up until after the first of the year.
Bauer expects to process 250 deer this year.
(Kim Bauer / Prairie West Meats) "Right now is our busy season with deer and beef. We're actually doing 2-3 more beef this year than we did last year. We are booked out until February."
Bauer says they butcher about 20 deer a week, all while processing 6-8 beef a week.
He says it's about a 2 week process from the time that deer arrives until it's ready to go home.
(Sarah Gustin / email@example.com) "All of the deer sausage is smoked for at least 3 hours before heading to the cooler overnight to be chilled down at 42 degrees.
(Kim Bauer / Prairie West Meats)"We do a lot of summer sausage, country style and jerky and slim jims."
Bauer says typically one deer produces between 35 and 40 pounds of meat.
Bauer says they are not expecting as many deer this year due to fewer licenses being issued.