The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Latest News

November 20, 2012

ON THE HUNT

Mark Chapman arrived in this world exactly one minute ahead of twin brother Matthew, so, theoretically, that makes him the boss.

Actually, there is no sibling rivalry — or superiority — when it comes to running Chapman’s Deer Processing.

You might call it Deer-R-Us.

“Mark’s the boss,” twin Matthew deadpanned.

“He was born one minute earlier. He’s been around a lot longer.”

That’s what the twins do, along with other family members, when deer season rolls along, so this means letting their home building/remodeling enterprise take a back seat so they can process venison for southern West Virginia hunters.

Before the season is out, the family likely will have cut and packaged 400 deer.

Even before the firearms season opened Monday, the family had its hands full, taking care of deer hauled in by bow hunters.

“It keeps us busy,” Matthew Chapman said.

“Everything we do, we bone out. We debone and tenderize steaks and hamburger. A lot of people here depend on this for their winter’s food. Everything we do, you can see here. It’s a good, clean product. We take extra care and pains with it to make it good.”

Mark’s wife, Tammie, and two sons, Joe and Josh, were busy with a rush from opening day. Justin, a son of Matthew, also is part of the business.

“If the whole family didn’t pitch in, we couldn’t do it,” Matthew said.

Their work leaves scant time for the family to do any hunting. Besides, Matthew says age has become a factor.

“As we got older, we couldn’t get out and couldn’t climb the trees, so we just spend our time here,” he said.

“What you get into, the hunter kills that deer first thing in the morning, and a lot of times you don’t get it until dark. He’ll hunt until plumb dark. We try to stay open from 7 to 7.”

Two customers certainly didn’t wait all day before turning in their prizes.

A 10-year deer hunter, Jim Harrah of Pemberton, bagged a spike buck while hunting on Backus Mountain in Fayette County.

“I always bring them here because they do a good job,” he explained.

Even with someone with success over the past decade, the thrill of dropping a buck in its tracks — as he did with his Remington 30-30 — hasn’t diminished.

“After you shoot ‘em, the fun ends,” Harrah said. “Then you have to gut ‘em and drag ‘em.

“This one wasn’t too bad dragging, because it was downhill all the way, right to the road. That made it a whole lot easier.”

Harrah is banking on a turkey dinner for Thanksgiving and leaving the venison in the freezer for winter nutrition.

A retired Peabody Coal Co. coal miner, Harrah said he feels deserving of the fall hunt.

“I help my wife all year long, then hunting season comes, and she’s a widow,” he laughed.

One shot with his Browning .270 is all longtime hunter Byron Meadows of Beaver needed to bring down a 4-point in his favorite spot, the old Cooper Creek mine property, of which he is part owner.

In his 33 years or so stalking deer, the Beckley Water Co. pipefitter hasn’t failed to bring home the venison. This year, he hopes to wind up with two, since he bought an extra buck stamp.

Meadows uses an all-terrain vehicle to get near his spot, then hikes about 75 yards, partly uphill. One unexpected visitor gave him a few uneasy moments, but the big black bear wasn’t accompanied by cubs, so he quickly calmed down.

Until the buck surfaced and then the adrenaline exploded and Meadows admittedly felt that old-time excitement.

“I always do,” he said.

“When you lose the excitement, you might as well quit. I shot him about 50 yards away. He came right in top of me, right at daybreak. At first, I thought it was a doe. Then he turned his head to me. I saw the horns. I hunt for meat, not for horns. I love to eat it.”

And so apparently does Meadows, getting a lift out of applying his culinary skills.

“I’ll take the backstrap, like fillet, and butterfly it, open it up, put jalapeno in it, then put in cream cheese, Lawry’s season salt, and then wrap bacon around it,” he said.

“Then I bake it in the oven. And  it’s the best you’ve ever eaten in your life. I love to cook.”

— E-mail: mannix@register-herald.com

1
Text Only
Latest News
  • UMWA1.jpg More than 5,000 protesting new EPA rules at rally

    Today, 73 buses will bring miners and UMW members to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, for a labor rally and march through downtown Pittsburgh.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Kroger restricts pseudoephedrine sales in state

    Supermarket chain Kroger is tightening monthly purchase limits of cold medications that contain pseudoephedrine at its West Virginia stores.

    July 31, 2014

  • ‘Biscuit guy’ makes his mark with anthem at TWV

    The old saying “being at the right place at the right time” couldn’t be more true for Calvin Alexander. Thanks to a salad dressing bottle (and some impressive vocal skills), Alexander was invited to sing the national anthem not once, but twice, at Theatre West Virginia before the opening of “Hatfields and McCoys."

    July 31, 2014

  • legion American Legion posts plan to merge

    To help deal with its decreasing membership numbers, Beckley American Legion Post 70 is planning a merger with Post 32. INCLUDES TOUT VIDEO.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • legal Tort reform group brings message to Beckley

    How can West Virginia create more jobs and have a better business climate, at no cost to taxpayers? Greg Thomas, executive director of the West Virginia Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse (WV CALA), says legal reform is one of the answers to that question.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tri-state coal interests rally before hearings

     More than 2,000 union workers and others organized by the coal industry in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia joined top state elected officials Wednesday to rally against proposed stricter federal pollution regulations for coal-burning power plants.

    July 31, 2014

  • Judge in W.Va. asked to delay gay marriage ruling

    Attorney General Patrick Morrisey has asked a judge to postpone ruling on a federal lawsuit challenging West Virginia's same-sex marriage ban until the U.S. Supreme Court reviews a ruling in a similar case in Virginia.

    July 30, 2014

  • Tri-state coal interests rally before EPA hearings

    More than 2,000 union workers and others organized by the coal industry in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia joined top state elected officials Wednesday to rally against proposed stricter federal pollution regulations for coal-burning power plants.

    July 30, 2014

  • Work continues on stand-alone Warrior Trail

    The executive director of the Hatfield and McCoy Trail Authority said Tuesday that officials are still working toward the creation of the stand-alone Warrior Trail in McDowell County.

    July 30, 2014

  • East River Mountain Tunnel repairs will continue for several weeks

    Motorists traveling Interstate 77 could see slight delays again tonight as repair work continues inside of the fire-damaged East River Mountain Tunnel.

    July 30, 2014