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One stop for deer processing, taxidermy
Dec 05, 2012 12:00 am
At Sue’s Taxidermy & Processing you can stuff your deer and eat it too.
For four years the processing plant/taxidermy shop, located in Liberty, has provided one-stop service for area deer hunters.
“Sue, my wife, has been doing taxidermy for 20 years, and about four years ago we decided to start a processing operation to go with it,” says owner Troy Varney. “It’s been proved to be very successful.”
During their first year of operation the Varneys processed 180 deer. The next year they handled 402. Last year the number rose to 564 and so far this year they have processed over 500.
“That’s due mostly to word-of-mouth,” Varney says. “When that many hunters are happy with the results and pass it along to their friends, we feel like that’s a pretty good endorsement.”
Out of last year’s 564 deer dropped off for processing, 67 hunters also opted to have the heads and/or antlers mounted.
“There are several processing plants that handle deer, but as far as I know none of them also do taxidermy,” Varney says. “Our service makes it very convenient. A hunter can drop off his deer and also have its head mounted, without having to take it somewhere else.”
If a hunter elects to have the head taken to another taxidermist, the Varneys will cape out the head for him.
Sue, incidentally, does all kinds of taxidermy work, not just deer heads. She can mount any animal or fish species.
Sue’s Processing (337-9730) is located at in DeKalb County, but draws clients from several neighboring counties, including Wilson, Trousdale, Smith and Sumner. Most of those counties have plants that specialize in deer processing; in Wilson County there is Lebanon Locker (444-0851) and North Lebanon Deer Processing (444-6524), but Varney feels there’s enough business to go around.
“As many deer that are being killed these days, we feel like there’s enough processing demand for us all,” he says.
When the Varneys decided to expand Sue’s taxidermy business into a deer processing service they went to Flowers Processing for advice. Flowers, located in north Davidson County, has a reputation for cleanliness and quality.
“Mike Flowers not only gave us a tour of his plant, he shared some of his favorite recipes,” Varney says. “We can make breakfast sausage, German bologna, Salisbury burger, summer sausage, jalapeno sausage, ground jerky and several other specialties We have some of each on stock for people to taste to see if they like it.”
Sue’s Processing participates in the Hunters for the Hungry program, in which hunters can donate all or part of their venison to a local charity or Food Bank. A discounted fee is charged to cover minimum expense.
Varney reminds hunters that TWRA regulations require a permanent kill tag to accompany each deer brought in for processing.
“Folks are welcome to come by and check out some of Sue’s mounts and visit our processing plant,” Varney says. “We think they’ll be impressed by both.”