Hunters celebrate first day of rifle deer season

One of the hunters who turned over his first-ever harvest is 13-year-old Oliver Hubbell.
Published: Nov. 15, 2022 at 6:02 PM EST
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CRYSTAL FALLS, Mich. (WLUC) - Sommers Sausage Shop in Crystal Falls is one of many processing centers in the U.P. One of the hunters who turned over his first-ever harvest is Oliver Hubbell.

“Once I saw the deer, I was so excited I was shaking. It was so much fun,” Hubbell said.

Hubbell shot an average-sized doe. He is from Kansas City and is visiting his grandfather in Dickinson County this week. Tuesday was the first time he had ever gone hunting, and he loved the quality time with his grandfather.

“It’s tradition. I hope to pass it on to my kids and keep going,” Hubbell said.

Hubbell dropped the deer off at Sommers Sausage Shop to be processed. He is one of more than 25 hunters who have already brought deer to the shop.

“It has been a nice flow of young deer. Nothing too big yet. Most guys that shoot big deer don’t bring them in on the first day,” said Patrick Sommers, owner.

Sommers said when a harvested deer is dropped off, he hopes to have it fully processed within a week.

“It all depends on if they are having sausage made or if it is just a straight cut and how many are in front of them,” Sommers said.

Sommers said drop-offs are by appointment only. On an average deer, about one-third of the weight is useful meat.

“I’m assuming we are going to have a normal year, nothing more than above average,” Sommers said. “Just from bow season, I don’t think too far above average.”

Sommers said while Tuesday was a steady flow, he expects Wednesday and Thursday will be much busier.