Venison Now Being Sold on Store Shelves in West Virginia

Saturday is the first day West Virginians can buy deer meat right from the shelves in West Virginia stores.

Venison will be worth some big bucks as people have waited for it to be in stores for a long time.

The first place to sell venison in the state is the Wild Ramp in Huntington.
Anita and Mark Cobb have waited for this day for 15 years.

"It's crazy the emotions we've had ever since the bill passed last year. It's been a long process just getting the business up and running," Anita Cobb said.

They own Safari meats, and now provide venison to stores and restaurants as local food customers can now buy.

"It's really exciting for West Virginia before you couldn't buy it unless it was imported deer meat- so it's way better to have it local," Wild Ramp assistant manager, Briana Griffith said.

Griffith said for years people would come in the store and ask for deer meat. Now, they have plenty of it, all coming from the Cobb's farm in Jackson County.

"They know there's not any kind of drugs- no antibiotics put into these animals.

There's no growth hormones; they're as natural as can be. That's important to a lot of consumers," Cobb said.

Customers were going in and out of the store Saturday looking to be the first ones to cook with local deer meat straight off the shelves.

"I've had several customers come in and say- 'do you have deer' and they're disappointed when we don't. now we do," Jacqueline Robinette said.

Right now, customers can get the basics at the Wildramp: ground venison, loins and soup bones. However, as the season continues they'll have a wider variety with jerky, pepperoni and deli meats.