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View Poll Results: Why are you a deer farmer?
Because you love deer 53 49.53%
It is a business 18 16.82%
Competitive / challenge 17 15.89%
I grow them better than I can find to hunt 9 8.41%
Other 10 9.35%
Voters: 107. You may not vote on this poll

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Old Nov 21st 2009, 10:50 AM   #1
  Apr 2009
  Brookshire, Texas
Brad and I were having this discussion with a fellow farmer recently, and it made me curious. Mark all that apply, and then take a minute to elaborate in a response to the poll.

1 -Because you love deer, regardless if you make money, lose or break even

2 -For the money, it is only a business for me

3 -For the challenge of growing bigger bucks than other farmers

4 -Because you can't hunt them in the wild as big as you can grow them

5 -Other reasons - please explain
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Old Nov 21st 2009, 11:48 AM   #2
  Aug 2009
  Hudsonville, Michigan
Just starting out - not even an official deer farmer yet. Vote #1, I've always loved deer. Vote #2, I hope to make some money, maybe enough to spend a little more time with deer, and a little less time at a "real job". Vote #3, not so much to grow bigger deer than other farmers, but to grow the best deer that I can.
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Old Nov 21st 2009, 12:22 PM   #3
 Jack's Avatar
  Apr 2009
  Vaughn, MT 59487

Cervid: mule deer,whitetail,elk,goats,bighorn & stone sheep & Alaskan dahl sheep
(1) I grow and breed them for personal pleasure even though Montana has put most of us out of business. It must be pleasure now as we have lost money for the last four years because of government issues and government taxes on our deer and elk. I can say this has been a great business for my family for almost thirty years.

(4) I like to look at big buck deer and you will not find them in the wild like we can raise.

(5) I really love the breeding part of using genetics to improve the deer antlers.

I also like the fawning part of the year as new life is on the ground. I also like to bottle feed the fawns. I like raising quality deer for people to look at.

I like the great people we meet in this industry. I have made many friends that share the same goals and principals in life.
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Old Nov 21st 2009, 03:02 PM   #4
 IndependenceRanch's Avatar
  Apr 2009
  Edgar, WI

Cervid: deer
Well Robbie, I think this question has multiple answers for me, and it depends at what point during the last 15 years I have been in deer we want to talk about.

When I first got started it was to make a few extra dollars to put towards our retirement some day. At the time we started I was a big deer hunter and loved to hunt them and loved to see how the various bucks grow different racks. I found it interesting looking at racks from the same buck as it matured year after year, and how those racks changed each year.

Then after a few years it became obvious there was only one way to make that extra money, and that meant getting more serious about what we were doing. Very shortly after that CWD became "all the rage" here in WI. At that time it had to become a business because the fight we were thrown into against the state and others took a ton of effort and time.

That meant buying better animals and using A/I with semen from the best bucks to quickly improve the quality of our herd.

Then at some point during the fight with the DNR and others, it became (for me anyway) a fight for the freedoms that our brave men and women have fought for all over the world. I felt I just HAD to keep farming deer just to preserve the freedom their sacrifice had given us. To think that some people want to restrict and stop the ability of others to raise the animals they choose to raise, and restrict the ability of farms to make money raising those animals. I couldn't let that happen.

Then at some point the fight surrounding CWD became hoe hum and the story died away. By this time we had invested so much time, money, and effort that I decided this had to be more than just a "few extra dollars" for us any more. The investment and time was being seen by the quality bucks we were producing at our farm. This quality translated into more return for our investment that we had made. So then it became a serious business that had to be cultivated even more yet.

Last year for the first time we offered animals at auction just to test the waters. It was a success (in my eyes anyway) and this year we are in the Top 30 sale. I am very proud of that fact so pardon my saying so.

In Jan of 2009 I was furloughed from my job. The income from the deer was much needed over the last few months, and I am glad we had cultivated our farm into a serious business. Had we not, I don't know what shape we would be in today.

I can say that I enjoy raising whitetails. I enjoy the different racks that each buck grows. Hence my desire to raise big mainframe typicals with some extras for that added score and character.

I do however see it as a business. I have to see it that way. If I didn't I might not invest for better genetics and better quality. If not I might not continue the fight for our rights at both the state and at the national level. And I might not have the income I need to maintain our household and way of life.

The idea of it being a challenge or a race to grow bigger bucks than the rest is laughable really. It is like someone told me when I was a kid. There will always be someone faster and stronger, just do the best you can do.

I think to many people worry that they will look bad if they say they raise deer for the money. Get over it! No one should be ashamed of wanting to make money to make things better for their family. The idea of profit is what makes us all strive for better deer. When I show non-deer farmers what we grow they are in awe of the size of the bucks. Because we can do selective breeding we achieve routinely what the wild can only do on rare occasions. Deer farmers don't grow these bucks in a lab using freak mutations. We grow them with balanced nutrition and selective breeding. The laws of nature are not being abused.

Yes we love whitetails and do it for the joy we get from raising them. And yes we do it for the money.

Just my .02 cents worth.
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Old Nov 21st 2009, 03:31 PM   #5
  Apr 2009
  Brookshire, Texas
Thank you guys for your honesty and candor. I hope others on here will chime in.
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Old Nov 21st 2009, 05:28 PM   #6
  Apr 2009
  Tobin Lake, Saskatchewan
What else would you do in a province where the official animal is "the white-tailed deer"
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Old Nov 21st 2009, 05:36 PM   #7
  Apr 2009
I have to say we started deer farming 3 years ago, and we have been put through some test already as most of us have. We are farming for a few reasons. Our ultimate goal is to have deer farming be my full time job with a fully funcional hunting preserve or at the very least have deer farming be my son and daughters full time job, we are far from that right now. We do love our deer and we love watching what is growing on our bucks head every year. So I think everyone has to say it is a business, we love our deer,and who doesn't want the next monster everyone is looking for walking around there pen
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Old Nov 21st 2009, 07:23 PM   #8
 Antlershed's Avatar
  Apr 2009
  cental Pennsylvania

Cervid: taxidermy
I got into raising deer 3 years ago aswell, I knew I had to get into raising them when I went to visit a neighor who had a buck. I got to pet his buck, it was the first time I got to touch a living deer, it was later that year we put up a pen and I got my first deer, a buck and 3 does. Now I have 20 and I am hoping to finally start selling some in fall of 2010. I must say the absolute best expierence in raising the deer has been seeing the fawns, I just love seeing the little ones, and now that I started bottlefeeding does, I get even more excited. I have had a lot of ups and downs so far, all my troubles have been with losing bucks, I have lost 4 bucks to accidents or illness in this past 3 years, that is not a lot to some farms, but to a small time farm that is a huge financial loss. Also I had a bad breeder buck last year, I only got fawns out of 2 does, he had 8 in with him. I believe in giving God the glory and depite my losses and dissapointments there have been even more great expierences, the Lord is the real keeper and I am glad he has given me the finances, health, and good friends I need to be able to raise these great animals.
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Old Nov 22nd 2009, 09:29 AM   #9
  Apr 2009
I agree with all of thee above, but I also love the genetic part of it, breeding this buck to this line of doe, its fun and who knows what it will produce!
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Old Nov 23rd 2009, 01:57 PM   #10
  Apr 2009
  New Athens, Illinois
Deer farming is the most stressful and enjoyable thing I do, kinda hard to explain--maybe i'm just insane. When I have a hard day I can come home and sit on a 5gal bucket in my deer pen and relax, then on the other hand I worry about dogs/now cougar sitings near my house whats next. Love watching those antlers grow
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Old Nov 23rd 2009, 04:53 PM   #11
 South Alabama Whitetails's Avatar
  Jul 2009
  Deer Park, Alabama

Cervid: whitetails
I got into deer farming to improve the quality of the herd here. We have the poorest genetics in the wild I have ever seen.
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Old Nov 23rd 2009, 05:05 PM   #12
  Oct 2009
  Rush, NY
My boyfriend and I have always been whitetail deer nuts. One day he came home from a friends house that has a deer farm, and said "I think I would like to raise deer." That was 11 years ago. We started with 4 fawns. Our herd has grown to 35-40 head. All are bottle fed and very friendly. We've learned alot along the way. We've been fortunate enough to have gotten some nice animals that others wanted to use for breeding. We make enough to feed them from year to year. Besides being one of the greatest animals in the world, every year they give you a present. Sandy
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Old Nov 24th 2009, 06:13 AM   #13
  Jun 2009
  Perryville, Mo. USA
Deerchaser, it sounds as if you are able to release deer into the wild to improve the genetic makeup of the heard in Ala. Is it so and if it is what did you have to go through to get the approval? Jeff
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Old Nov 24th 2009, 01:47 PM   #14
  Jul 2009
At first I got into deer farming because I absolutely love deer, and I thought that there could be no better way to make a living than to work around deer all day every day. During our first year my 33 year old sister was diagnosed with stage 4 stomach cancer. She had a son that was 2 at the time and a daughter that was 3. She had her stomach removed one day after she ran in the Chicago Marathon. Over the last 3 years I have used our farm as my therapy place. She passed away this August and one of the last things that she told me was that she knew that I would make this deer farming thing work. She was never able to go see our deer farm in person just in pictures, but she was able to bottle feed our doe fawn a couple of times this summer. This past year I have rethought what it is that I would like to do with the deer farm. Yes I would love to make a living off of it but I also would like to do some good as well. Maybe it will be donating a buck for the dream hunts, donating money, or time. I’m not sure what all it will be as of right now but I’m sure that someone will guide me and let me know when it is time for me to know. One thing for sure is that I will always have that doe fawn or one of her kids as long as I have a deer farm.
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