Deer Farmer

Go Back   Deer Farmer > Deer Farming Forum > Deer Farming

Deer Farming Deer Farming Forum - general deer farming discussions and questions about deer, elk, reindeer (farmed or wild)

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes

Old Sep 24th 2017, 01:36 PM   #1
  Sep 2017
Failing at Raising Deer in Texas

Have come upon these forums out of a little frustration. I live in Texas. I purchased 225 acres of land three years ago, had it fenced, bought 5 does and 1 buck and have failed at generating any thing to speak of from the new found hobby of deer farming. Now, I did not intend to raise these deer for any specific purpose such as preserve hunting or stocker buck production. I purchased these brood animals to populate this acreage with somewhat better than average deer relative to the native whitetails that live in the general area.
Now, I don't live on the property because I have to work an hourly wage to support this crazy project. However, it never occurred to me that these animals would not be able to prosper and survive. To date, I have two of the original does that have survived and one, 1 and 1/2 year old buck born from the original stock, still living. I have since bought a couple more does. In sum, I started with 5 original does and now have 4 does. I have raised 1 fawn to the age of 1.5 years. Everything else has died.
Now I'm sure that you're thinking I must be some rich idiot who has more money than sense and couldn't raise a tadpole in pond water. I can assure you that I am nowhere close to being rich, have successfully raised cows, horses, goats, and sheep, and work myself to death when I believe in a project. Believe me, this deer farming project has brought me closer to death.
At the time this whole process started, I did not have any predator issues. They have been fed with Purina AntlerMax Breeder Professional 16, have been dewormed annually, and are never without a clean source of water. Per Texas law, they are considered to be wild deer and I cannot put my hands on them.
These deer were purchased from reputable breeders. However, it is now obvious that most breeders in this state are raising deer to sell to other breeders, as breeder pen brood stock, or as stocker bucks for hunting. Apparently, raising deer to sell to an end user who just wishes to stock his property is not the market targeted by breeders. My observation is that these breeder farm deer just do not have the vigor to go from pen to open pasture enviroment and survive successfully.
I get it and bear no animosity to the people I have done business with. I just now realize that I'm not the guy who is supporting their business'. I don't want to give up on this project, but, I need some help. Yes, the breeders that I have bought deer from have genuinely offered advice, but, the successful remedies suggested by these well intended farmers ofter apply to pen raised deer that can be sedated, treated, examined, and AI'd. Texas calls my deer, "wild deer". As noted above, I cannot put my hands on a wild deer in Texas.
There are 4 million wild deer in Texas. There are a bunch of these deer that live to maturity and beyond, if they aren't shot. Somehow these animals survive EHD, parasites, coyotes, temperatures up to 110 degrees, poor natural range nutrition and drought. It's not like I'm trying to re-invent the wheel here. Are there any breeders on this forum that farm their deer in Texas? Does anyone here know of end users in Texas that have released pen raised deer successfully onto open range? Any advice from anyone, even if they don't raise deer in Texas, would be appreciated. Someone has done this successfully.
I'm not a wealthy person and I just can't throw good money after bad. I know this, and now my wife is reinforcing this. Your thoughts are appreciated.
miked is offline  
Old Sep 24th 2017, 02:59 PM   #2
  Jan 2010
if you are not there all the time, how do you know what happened to the deer? if there is ample water and food beyond what you have provided there should be more than that. What about EHD in the area, that can wipe out deer fast, a coyote or bobcat can dig under or crawl the fence if they know there will be food in there. Have you found any bones from the dead ones? they tell a story too. What about poachers in the area? Are there sheep or cows in there? Lots of factors to weigh in there.
weber195 is offline  
Old Jan 7th 2020, 08:02 AM   #3
  Jan 2020
For what it is worth... We bought 5 pen raised does last year and turned loose on 200 acres with our native Texas deer, all high fenced. This year we are interested in purchasing a buck. I was shocked at how many breeders would only deliver the buck around September. This is not an option in my opinion and here is why. The pen raised does had a very hard time figuring out what to eat. They started out weighing around 150 lbs and lost down to around 90 lbs. I was sick when I could count all rib bones easily. Eventhough we had gravity feeders, protected by short 2' fencing, they didn't know how to jump. Never had to jump. Didn't know what to eat. Didn't even know to eat acorns. They would have died if they had been turned out in September when grass is getting scarce. Beyond a doubt, I will never receive pen raised deer late in the year unless I am putting into another pen until they are used to foraging.
TOPPS Farms is offline  
Old Feb 5th 2020, 12:19 PM   #4
  Jan 2020
  northeast mexico (monterrey)
hello sir in what area of texas are you located? we breed deer in northeast mexico, just a couple hours away from laredo texas and all of that (doesnt change much breeding in south texas than in north mexico, the country is very similar).

we started to breed deer 4 years ago, we started with 7 pregnant does bought from a breeder ranchand one breeder buck plus a few wild does that we captured and released them inside the pens... i would suggest you to try to have the permit to manage your deer through pens. its way easier. you could make a 1 or 1/2 acre pen. buy a gravity feeder maybe a few since youre not at the property all the time, and put a live camera with the camera you can see your deer and at least its gonna help somehow to know if your herd has a problem.
joeurquijo is offline  
Old Feb 5th 2020, 12:20 PM   #5
  Jan 2020
  northeast mexico (monterrey)
and by having a pen you can control your genetics and your strategies for the release of the animals.
joeurquijo is offline  
Old Feb 12th 2021, 12:58 AM   #6
  Feb 2021
This is really alarming. I heard that this is still happening until now. Hope this will be given immediate solution or they will go extinct. x470 motherboard
used cars urbana

Last edited by Kennhobbs; Feb 12th 2021 at 01:03 AM.
Kennhobbs is offline  

  Deer Farmer > Deer Farming Forum > Deer Farming

deer, failing, raising, texas

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Similar Discussions
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
My First Deer Death in the Five Years I've been Raising Deer Padencreek Deer Health 18 Jul 20th 2015 05:28 PM
Deer Raising in Mississippi Southernknight Deer Farm Production 2 Dec 10th 2011 11:32 AM
Arizona Raising deer???? B-Rad Deer Farm Production 1 Nov 22nd 2011 07:51 PM
Raising Whitetail Deer Books Spinpro Deer Farm Production 2 Mar 18th 2011 06:10 AM
new to raising elk and deer in iowa arno Deer Farm Management 3 Sep 22nd 2009 10:33 PM

Facebook Twitter Google+ RSS Feed