By David Schlake
While most hunters know how to field dress a deer, many don’t know how or don’t want to fully process their own, prompting them to seek professional assistance.
For those who do it on their own, the process is messy and time-consuming. And, for those who pay someone else to do it, it can get pretty expensive and can take a while to finish.
One man from Tonawanda, New York, saw an opportunity to make hunters’ lives easier by cutting out the most involved steps of filling your freezer with wild game meat.
“When I was younger, I had a deer processed,” Bryan Hetzel told WKBW in an interview. “It wasn’t the best experience, so I decided I’d be taught how to process deer.”
Hetzel’s one-man operation travels all over Niagara and Erie counties in upstate New York, where he’s seen his business grow every year. He says he processes 150-250 deer during each hunting season.
He says the beauty of his model is the demand, as there’s enough work available for others to copy his mobile butchering strategy without hurting his business.
Not only does Hetzel save his customers a trip to the processor, but he also does his work right there on site, effectively cutting out the wait time and ensuring the hunter gets the animal he killed. Hetzel will even arrange to pick up a deer as soon as you shoot it so you don’t even have to load it into your vehicle.
One problem Hetzel has run into, however, is the large number of ticks that inhabit western New York.
“This year happens to be a very bad year for ticks,” he said in the interview. “So I think the insurance that you won’t have all these ticks in your vehicles or the outside your vehicle rings home for safety purposes.”
Hetzel says he hopes to continue expanding the Deer Guys brand next year and beyond.