Worker Shortages Affecting Deer Hunters: Here’s How

by Quentin Blount

A shortage of workers is affecting one deer processing business in Kentucky. But it’s likely affecting others across the rest of the country as well.

Gliers Best Deer Processing is located in Covington, Kentucky, and is operated by the Glier’s Meats. They announced on Monday that they will be suspending all of their processing services for the remainder of the 2021 deer season. Their reasoning behind the decision is due to a lack of workers.

A statement on their website says that they are looking forward to being back better for the 2022 season.

“We sincerely hope that we can come back, better than ever for the 2022 Deer Season, but due to the current situation and the uncertainty of how long it will last that is a promise we don’t know that we can keep.”

Kerry Schall is the director of marketing and special events for Gliers Best Deer Processing. He explained to the River City News that the business is simply unable to keep up with the demand this year. On average, he said that they usually process hundreds of deer each season.

“It’s very difficult to keep up with the demand right now,” Schall said. “And when we do deer season it becomes a seven-days-a-week thing. And we’re not able to keep up with it.”

Another Butcher Decided to Suspend Services

Gliers Best Deer Processing isn’t the only business in the industry to suspend its services. Bill Finke and Sons is a Ft. Wright butcher known for providing the exact same services to deer hunters. But they made the unfortunate decision last year to stop processing deer as well. And they cited the exact same reason as to why — the workload became too much.

Alex Neiman works behind the counter at Finke’s. He explained that the company used to process more than 500 deer per year before scaling that number back to about 100.

“It’s a lot of work,” Neiman said.

Both Gliers and Finke’s are without a doubt two of the biggest processing centers in their respective areas. So, as you can probably imagine, suspension of their services is going to affect a lot of hunters in the area.

Deer Hunters Will Have to Search Elsewhere to Get Their Deer Processed

As a result of these decisions, local deer hunters will be the ones affected most. Dan Hassert is a Covington resident and avid deer hunter. He’s worried about how much deer meat could go to waste since there will be fewer processors around.

“We eat more venison than any other meat, so getting the notice from Glier’s was definitely a disappointment, even if I understand it,” Hassert admitted. “For us, it’ll just mean more time butchering and less time hunting or doing other things. But a lot of hunters don’t have either the space, equipment, knowledge, time, or willingness to cut up and package the deer they kill. So, my guess is there will be people with a dead deer on the ground scrambling to find anotone deer processor.”