Its origins date back to the mid-twentieth century. And it has been steadfastly part of a dwindling industry in Montana.

The announcement is sure to be discouraging to many hunters and anglers in western Montana. It's bittersweet for current ownership too, as, like so many other businesses, staffing issues are the main frustrations that ultimately forced their hand.

Today (Friday, December 1) the highly regarded wild game processing and fish-smoking company, H & H Meats of Missoula, formally announced their decision to close the doors, tentatively in early May of 2024. H & H Meats is on the tail-end of their busiest season, the Montana general big game rifle season, which closed Sunday, November 26. It was becoming increasingly difficult to stay open extended hours and serve the heavy demand of so many customers with the drastic shortages in available labor force.

Missoula Montana
Image courtesy of Denny Bedard


The long-time owner, John Peterson, passed away nearly 8 years ago. Since then, the store has been in the capable hands of its general manager, Brad May, and remained in the family, as John's widow, Peaches, has continued to be involved in the store's operation. Both Brad and Peaches are ready to retire from the industry and move onto a less demanding lifestyle.


While the store will be closing, its fate is yet to be determined. The building at 1801 South Avenue West could be sold and turned into something else. Better yet, someone with an interest in the wild game processing business could step up and carry on the store's legacy, especially considering the store's closing has nothing to do with how tremendously successful it has been. Nothing is carved in stone at this point.

Whatever happens, it has been our pleasure to work with Brad and Peaches. They have been good customers and a joy to work with. All the best to both of them!

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