RUDY (KFSM) – Hundreds of hunters are already killing their first deer of the modern gun season.
10-year-old Carson Frisby shot his first deer during a special youth hunt for children ages 6 to 15.
“It feels great. I've never felt such a rush of adrenaline in my life,” Frisby said. "I love seeing that I'm going to eat what I shot, and what I butchered.”
He and his father, Jimmy, already processed Carson’s deer at home on their own. Jimmy shot his first deer of the season Sunday (Nov. 9) morning, but he’ll always remember Saturday, Nov. 1.
"It was one of the best days of my life because, we'd spend a lot of time out in the woods just learning and tracking and figuring out how to pick out a place for a deer,” he said. “And we set up our stand and when it came up, it was about 35 steps [away] and he had a perfect shot."
Randy Cockrum and his wife Anjie have owned a meat processing plant for more than 30 years, and they've already seen nearly 300 deer this weekend.
"We get deer all the way up to the end of February, but nothing like this,” Randy said. “It'll be hard for us to take off Thanksgiving Day, but after that, we get a handle on it.”
The Cockrums have thousands of pounds of processed meat in their freezer ready for pick-up. The youth hunt alone had them processing nearly 18,000 pounds of deer meat.
"People think the woods is just woods but there's a lot of meat comes out of them,” Randy said. “You can really reduce the grocery bill by putting a couple deer in the freezer.”
Carson said he plans to use his deer to make jerky, sausage and tenderloins.
"We're going to have everything we need for a good winter,” Jimmy said.
The Cockrums said the meat can last for about two or three years in the freezer.
Several thousand pounds of game meat from hunters are donated to local food banks and churches each year, according to Randy.
“If you can get your kids out there to hunt, it gets them off the video games and out in the woods,” Jimmy said. “It’ll teach them something they’ll value the rest of their life.”