From the deer stand to the dinner table

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Chris and Carla Nesbit, owners of Bellevue Meat.

Bellevue Meat is a staple for Haughton hunters

Bellevue Meat has been a staple in the Haughton area for more than two decades.

The second generation family-owned business has made itself known for their custom processing, specialty products and high customer satisfaction standards. Owners Chris and Carla Nesbit operate the state inspected meat processing facility, located at 176 Bodcau Dam Road, using state of the art processing equipment and experienced meat cutters.

Bellevue Meat is a full service processing facility and custom smokehouse. They’ve accumulated a large customer base over the years and have grown from processing a few hundred products to thousands of products each season, spanning from late October into February.

Chris said their business is a standout because the meat is locally harvested yet packaged with a commercial look. They do everything from skinning to harvesting the beef, pork and deer meat.

Popular items offered at Bellevue Meat include hickory sausage, created with a specialized recipe they have developed over the years, summer sausages and snack stix, a favorite with children. Smoked sausages are available in different flavors like green onion, jalapeno and cheddar, regular or hot.

“We try to offer a variety of products for our customers and even something new each year if possible,” Chris said. “We want to earn the customer’s trust in our business and assure them that their products are well taken care of.”

A returning customer at Bellevue Meat is George Finck of Benton.

“Their reputation is pretty solid in this area. I’ve been using them for years and they have always done a great job,” Finck said. “The deer meat is always professionally prepared and it’s a high quality product. They make excellent sausage and steaks.”

Products are made on-site and vacuumed packaged, which guarantees freshness and an extended freezer life. An average order, Chris said, can be up to 60 pounds or more of harvested meat.

Finck said his freezer typically fills up quick with his family’s favorites – hamburger meat and thick link sausage for the grill.

“We can eat it pretty much all through the year and by the time the next season comes; we’re ready for some fresh meat,” Finck said. “

For those looking to share their surplus harvest, Bellevue Meat gives back to the community through the Hunters for the Hungry program, a national initiative that provides food to homeless shelters.

“We jumped on the opportunity 10 years ago because we felt like this would be a great way to give back to the community,” Chris said. “This is a program we feel strongly about and feel that it’s well worth it.”

Finck, too, said he supports the purpose of the program, adding that he’s contributed surplus harvest for the last six years.

“I think it’s excellent. There are a lot of deer in the woods and the habitat can only maintain a certain amount of them,” Finck said. “We have a certain amount of deer we like to take off our land each year so the rest can be healthy and have plenty to eat. When our freezer gets full and we have plenty to eat, we donate a deer or two to people who could use it.”

While they service the northwest Louisiana hunting community and surrounding areas, the business attracted national attention over the summer.

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal signed Senate Bills 58 and 84 into law over the summer as a result of an incident in January where 1,600 pounds of venison, donated by Bellevue Meat, was discarded and doused with bleach at the Shreveport-Bossier Rescue Mission by a health inspector with the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals.

Chris said he is thankful that law makers and state officials were able to work swiftly to get the necessary changes made and that he’s already looking forward to seeing how the new laws play out this season.

“We are proud of the services we offer and the products we can provide to hundreds of families in need each year,” he said. “There’s gratification in knowing that the product will be enjoyed by someone who needs it.”

Additionally, Jindal signed SB 84 that will allow hunters and anglers to make a donation to Hunters for the Hungry to help offset meat processing costs via a check-off box on applications for hunting and fishing licenses.

Chris and Carla hope to keep the family business going with their own children, adding a third generation to the business and providing service to hunters around the Ark-La-Tex for decades to come.

Bellevue Meat is open seven days a week during deer season. They take orders from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, only closing for major holidays.

For more information, call (318) 949-3794 or visit www.bellevuemeat.com.