TULSA, Okla. — With a couple more weeks left in deer season, hunters aren't the only ones seeing success.
Sausages are being made, meat is being packed up and business is bustling at Siegi’s Sausage Factory in Tulsa.
The boost is coming from local hunters bringing in wild game for meat processing, especially deer.
“On average, 120 or more deer a day in during rifle season," said David Bayer, wholesale sales manager at Siegi's Sausage Factory. "So, it’s late nights. We’re generally here until two or three in the morning every night.”
Bayer said they’re seeing about 25 percent more deer meat coming in this year compared to last year, putting orders out about 10 weeks. It’s a much-needed boost in the middle of the pandemic.
“The base of our business is actually wholesale, serving to food distributors and other restaurants," Bayer said. "I mean, that’s the mainstay of our business. Of course with the whole COVID, restaurants being shut down or real limited on what they can do, it has tremendously affected our business.”
The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation said it sold more than 161,000 deer-related licenses this year, up 15 percent from last year. That increase is keeping Siegi’s busy. Bayer said another reason they're busy is that beef processors are backed up, some as much as nine months to a year.
“The smaller beef processors who normally process deer, they’re not doing it," Bayer said. "And that accounts for about 40 percent of the wild game processors in the state. So that’s just put a huge crush on all the smaller processors.”
At Siegi’s, they’re working hard to get orders out, especially as they anticipate even more meat on the way.
“We’ve been blessed," Bayer said. "And we’re going to trounce right through this thing.”
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