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Old Feb 14th 2010, 03:57 PM   #1
 
  Feb 2010
I am from central PA and i would like to get into whitetail deer farming. I have tried to do alot of reseach talk to farmers ect.. but still have lots of questions. First of all I am looking for some land to buy for this farm and to build a house on for my wife and I. I want to make a living out of this business. So I want the farm to be big enough that I could max out my profits or come close if I can't aford everything (If there is such a this as maxing out profits?). So what do I look for in land(Farm Land?)? And how much land is needed for the whitetails?



Second I want to pick a farm that I think that has the best genetics. What are the chances if I would start out with 5 pregnant does that they would have buck that would be a forfront of the business so that that future does and bucks will be profitable? Beacuse from what I have seen in sucessful deer breeders they all have one big buck.



Third. How much does a complete handeling barn cost with everything in it that I would need? And where would I go to get this designed and built?



I just have so many questions but I will stop here to start the conversation. Thanks
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Old Feb 14th 2010, 04:36 PM   #2
 
  Dec 2009
  Henryetta,OK
First of all, I have no idea about land value in PA, but I will give you my 2 cents as an Okie. I am not trying to discourage you, but I think you need to be realistic in your thinking! It will be impossible to buy land, build a house and build a deer farm without a huge amount of cash upfront, or a really good day job! I would say you need a minimum of 5 acres under fence to run a breeding operation, if you went on the cheap side with the fence and handling facility and did all the work yourself and built your own chute, your pens and setup will cost you at least 10k probably closer to 20k, to do it first rate could be over 100k. Same with deer, 5 bred does can be bought for $500 each or $50,000. Keep in mind, the lower the quality of the deer you buy, the less you wil get for them when you sell them. If you cut corners on anything, dont cut corners on the quality of the does you buy!



Most people have a job and start deer farming as a hobby or they have alot of money to dump in it to start, then build it up to a business that can support itself.
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Old Feb 14th 2010, 04:43 PM   #3
 Four Seasons Whitetails's Avatar
 
  Oct 2009
  upstate ny

Cervid: Whitetail Deer
First you are in pa,lots of deer and lots of deer farmers.You will need some $ to get started for sure.land,fence buildings,deer.You came to the right place there is alot of great people and help on this site.Just do your homework and look at past auctions and see what the best deer were and what they sold for.Just go slow ask questions look at farms and whatever you do do it right the first time.It will be hard i think to make a living with deer.It will take time to build a name and a herd of good animals to start out at the very top as you say.There are alot of deer and farmers out there but if you do it right you will do ok.Remember to have fun,love the animal and get ready to get dirtyand have long days and nights and 100% commitment.good luck with yur venture
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Old Feb 14th 2010, 06:52 PM   #4
 
  Feb 2010
I am tying to look at this at to what I can do at the most and then downsize for my budget. I was blessed with some money and I want to invest in a business and I love the whitetail deer. There is no animal to me more special than a whitetail deer. And if I had the opportunity to work with them everyday and on top of it make money I would be a happy man. I just want to make sure before I make the plunge that I am able to make money off of it in the near future. Beacuse spending money like this is only a one time deal. I just would like to know what kind of land is best. Is it farm land that is flat with good soil? Or do I need trees? I just want to do things right for me, my family, and the deer. And business can be tricky enough and cutting corners is very dangerous. Thank YOu Brandon Wheeler and B100888 for your comments so far. Im able to find prices on deer and know what it costs for fence. The problems Im struggling with is just what kind of handleing facity do I need? How much does that cost? What needs to be done thoughout the year? And how many deer to have so 2-3 years down the road Im able to sell some deer off at a good price to make a living and have that many fawns if not more and have a cycle started. I seen the farms that sell there breed does for 2,500 dollars and one that sells them for 20,000 per breed doe. And to have a farm that sells them for 2,500 I don't think this is the business to get into. Beacuse I would have to have so many animals, alot of acres, and so on so fourth. That it would take a long time to pay for its self. Is there any place to where I can get blue prints for deer handeling facilites for a contractor to build so I would be able to get a price quote? I just want to do things the best I can the first time around. Thanks for everybody help!
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Old Feb 14th 2010, 07:08 PM   #5
 
  Dec 2009
  Henryetta,OK
There are more deer farms in PA than any other state, I would suggest going to many of these farms before you buy anything or build anything. Visit them and look at there facilities and draw your own conclusions! I know people will 100k barns and I know people that dart and drug 100% of their deer and have for years! You need to talk to alot of farms, process the info and do what you think is best! No 2 farms are the same! Everyone does something different!
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Old Feb 14th 2010, 07:09 PM   #6
 
  Apr 2009
  Nowata, OK
Tank, a good piece of advice that I was given when I started was," Don't spend more than you care to lose". Deer die for any and all kinds of reasons. As far as prices for barns, I can tell you we are building a new barn and complete ranch. The barn when completed will run about 40K. It is 70x60 with all handling, AIing, office and fawn care under one roof. A good chute is $ 4,000- 5,000. The land I think needs to be a combination of timber and open land 50/50. Check with NADEFA and the PA deer association to get some help to find breeders in your area. Most of the guys will open their door to you, showing their operations top to bottom. Look at several setups that guys have. Ask them if you can watch them the next time they are working deer. It will be an eye opener. It will also help you decide how you want your operation to look and work. Good money can be made with the right deer however, do yourself a favor and talk with some local guys. Those 2500.00 does do NOT hurt you as bad as the 20,000 does when they draw that last breath. We have all been there to have it happen to us.

Good luck and welcome
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Old Feb 14th 2010, 07:20 PM   #7
 South Alabama Whitetails's Avatar
 
  Jul 2009
  Deer Park, Alabama

Cervid: whitetails
You really need to talk to the farmers in your area about what they are getting for their does. There are does selling for $20,000 but that is not common place. Go to the whitetail exchange and look at the live animal sales and you will see most of them sell for less than $3,000. Many sell for less than a $1,000. To get $20,000 for a doe you need the highest quality does in the market and a big name in the business.

Deerfarming is the most enjoyable business I know of but don't expect a quick payback. I view starting in the business different than many. I would not buy the best does out there. Believe me I tried that method and thought I knew alot about deer. So I bought some of the best bottlefed fawns in the state. Guess what, most of them died before they ever had a fawn. They died mostly because of my stupidity. My advice would be to buy bottlefed good does but not great and a good breeder buck. Use artificial insemination to breed your herd up. This way it will not be so painful when you lose some of them. If you keep them alive you will have very good deer in a few years and enough knowledge to risk buying some great deer.

Many people see it different and suggest the best does money can buy. That is probably the best business model if you had been working on a deer farm for 2 or 3 years and had some knowledge of raising deer. By all means get tame does and bottlefed if you can.
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Old Feb 14th 2010, 07:56 PM   #8
 
  Feb 2010
There is alot of different inforamtion that I have recieved since I started looking into doing the whitetail deer business. And That is to buy bottle fed does that are breed is the best way to get started. And then bottle feed your doe fawns but not the buck fawns. And I also was told that 60% of the genetics that a buck fawn has comes from the doe. So that tells me that it would be best to go with the best pedigree doe with a good buck and then I should have good genetic young. Is there anything wrong with what I have learned? Or is there anything else I need to know there? It is easy to go out and buy the cheaper does and start a farm. But if I can aford the better pedigree does. Would it not be the best for me to get the best genetics in my doe and buck and buy her breed to start my farm? I just would not want to be a saleman if I got into the business. I would want my deer to be wanted.



And to arrowhead whitetails would you be able to send a sketch of what the floor plan looks like in your handeling facility and sq. ft. so I would be able to see what 40k buys?



I seen a stat on a website that said a average deer farm makes 53,000 dollars a year. For someone that would make that kind of money what kind of genetics do there deer have and how many would they have to have?



I want to thank everybody that is replying back to me. This is a great learning experence for me. And helps me get information I need.
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Old Feb 14th 2010, 08:16 PM   #9
 South Alabama Whitetails's Avatar
 
  Jul 2009
  Deer Park, Alabama

Cervid: whitetails
Tank

All I am trying to tell you different is that without experience you will be lucky if that expensive deer lives. Just for instance, if there is an ehd outbreak and you don't see the signs early, your deer will not make it. I grew up on a farm and hunted my whole life thinking I knew alot about deer. Boy was I wrong! As I said before the best you can get will work if you can keep them breathing. Try to talk to people who have been in the business for a while but also talk to some that have only been there for one or two years. Ask them how many deer they lost. The best deer farmers out there lose deer every year and they know what they are doing. Look at the deer competing for the world record this fall, probably half of them died. You can bet on one thing, the one that gets sick first will always be the best one you have. I wish you the best whichever way you go. I love it.
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Old Feb 14th 2010, 08:30 PM   #10
 
  Feb 2010
Thanks Deerchaser. That is something that I need to do alot of research on. Do you have any suggestions on where I can go or what I can read to get educated the most? I know there is nothing like experence on a subject like this but whichever way I go to start out I still don't want any deer dieing if I can help it.
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Old Feb 14th 2010, 08:43 PM   #11
 South Alabama Whitetails's Avatar
 
  Jul 2009
  Deer Park, Alabama

Cervid: whitetails
The best two sources of information are this web site and your local deerfarmers. The amount of knowledge on this site is unbelievable. There are people here that will help all they can but at the end of the day you have to learn to notice the early signs from your deer that something is wrong. This will only come with experience and reading information on here. Even when people tell you what to watch for it is hard to notice until you experience it. Deer are masters at pretending not to be sick. If they get ehd and you have not seen it before the first time you will realize something is wrong is when you see that white belly in the field. It is a sick feeling, believe me. My first experience with ehd was about five years ago, before I started raising deer. We had a winter green field that had about 60 deer coming in every evening, the next fall we started finding a few dead deer, that winter that same field had 5 or 6 deer coming in it. But as I said before the enjoyment is worth it!
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Old Feb 15th 2010, 03:26 AM   #12
 Four Seasons Whitetails's Avatar
 
  Oct 2009
  upstate ny

Cervid: Whitetail Deer
You will lose deer if you buy high dollar deer thats what you lose,I say start in the middle ground with deer and work yur way up.Some say no bottlefed bucks i say yes they are easy to work on and move but you have to knom the deer and use yur head.You have bear in pa they luv high dollar fawns.I know 2 farms that had them.The walks had like 5 and one was like 480lbs.fifty grand is a strech for most farms but chicken feed for some.The reality is it takes time to get there a deer sold by a new guy will bring half of what the same deer will bring by a bigger name.We all deal with it and you have to start somewhere.Call some bigger farms walks,rdm and so many more in pa and they will show you and help you get started where ever you want to start.They have deer in all stages and will show you their setups.
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Old Feb 15th 2010, 04:06 AM   #13
 
  Apr 2009
  Hummelstown, PA/USA
If your in central Pa.... So am I. Feel free to contact me. My doors are always open.

We just built a new facility and we have a few deer.



Harry Strawser

717-645-4555
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Old Feb 15th 2010, 06:56 AM   #14
 
  May 2009
  Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Tank, I was going to suggest you contact Harry, he is in central PA and a wealth on knowledge but there are others as well. George Hazzard is another good option if you are closer to him. Both are fine upstanding men and pillers in this business. I can help you with the fence, tools, Pneu-dart items, GMS or anything else you may need and would be more then happy to quote you. Good luck in your endevour and I look forward to hearing from you soon.
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Old Feb 15th 2010, 09:49 AM   #15
 
  Dec 2009
  Henryetta,OK
Tank,

If I were you, I would buy bred does, you can buy good does for 3,000 to 5,000 bred. Sometimes one of the fawns will sell for more than you paid for the doe. buy proven lines, whe ntimes get tough, the proven lines still sell well. Deer like PA Geronimo, Maxbo, Sundance, Highroller, Max.....these deer all produce. Dont buy a deer just because its dad scored 300 inches. Stick to the deer that are passing down their good traits consistently! Watch the auctions and see what it selling, most of the high sellers are all out of PROVEN genetics, not just big inches!
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