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Old Dec 27th 2016, 05:43 PM   #1
 
  Oct 2015
  Pa
So what is next?

I guess now that I can finally log in I am 'officially' a new guy though I have followed this forum literally or years.

That said I know enough not ask the question 'Im new to deer farming and want to make money' as I've read many of the responses and understand the current climate. But the question begs Whats next? Is the deer industry defunct? Will it rebound like the Bison industry is? stay blah like those raising Ostrich? Have we reached the pinnacle in whitetails?

I know there is talk of Mule deer, what about the elk industry? will that ever gain traction?

I know many of you have been around the block, some of you owning elk and Muleys...or other exotics. Interested to see where you feel the next thing is?

Thanks
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Old Dec 27th 2016, 05:58 PM   #2
 Jack's Avatar
 
  Apr 2009
  Vaughn, MT 59487

Cervid: mule deer,whitetail,elk,goats,bighorn & stone sheep
I have had the elk for almost forty years. The elk industry went down about in 2000. Prices still are bad for a animal that eats so much. Elk prices are much like cattle prices but we have the same disease requirements in elk as deer. With that said on elk they are hard to make money on.
Mule deer are the new thing and if you have them now they are making money for the ranch. Problem is as more people get them prices will go just like they did in whitetail. In other words they will get good money for in my opinion 8 to 10 years and then be like whitetail if people out East can raise them like they did with whitetail. Any time our supply exceeds our ability to harvest them on harvest facilities mule deer will be just like whitetail now. The supply on mule deer right now is very low and will be for a long time.
It will take years for the glut of whitetail bucks to level out. It will take people getting out of the whitetail and not breeding so many till the industry catches up to what they can harvest each year. Your guess is as good as mine on how long that will take.
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Old Dec 27th 2016, 06:04 PM   #3
 
  Oct 2015
  Pa
Thanks Jack, I've followed...or 'creeped' on your operation for some time as well. You have a heck of a diveristy. A little bit of Noahs Ark going on. I guess the good and the bad with deer is that you can raise so many in such a small area. Thats to say any joe schmoe with an acre could crank them out and that ability helped lead to a fast spike

Last edited by awendling; Dec 27th 2016 at 06:07 PM.
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Old Dec 27th 2016, 07:10 PM   #4
 Jack's Avatar
 
  Apr 2009
  Vaughn, MT 59487

Cervid: mule deer,whitetail,elk,goats,bighorn & stone sheep
Diversity has always been one of my rules. One animal might not make you money but another will so they feed the ones that didn't make money that year.
We were very self sufficient when we were harvesting our own animals. When Montana made it illegal to sell hunts, made it so there were no new game farms this forced us to sell out of State. What saved me was I always talked to people both in and out of State so we were able to find people that wanted our animals. I made many friends while we sold PMSG for the last twenty years so new many people if it weren't for that I wouldn't be in this industry. With that said thanks to all the people who helped me and my family.
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Old Dec 28th 2016, 03:37 AM   #5
 IndependenceRanch's Avatar
 
  Apr 2009
  Edgar, WI

Cervid: deer
In my opinion any cervid falling under the politics of the cwd farce will always struggle to survive and unless the regs are changed to be based on science we will all be out of business eventually.
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Old Dec 28th 2016, 09:28 AM   #6
 Jack's Avatar
 
  Apr 2009
  Vaughn, MT 59487

Cervid: mule deer,whitetail,elk,goats,bighorn & stone sheep
So very true Roger. The agencies have been using this CWD as a way to reduce the movement and industry growth. Much of this was the fault of our own people signing up for programs above and beyond any other health testing required for other animals for movement.
If CWD will manifest itself in five years why are many of us still doing total testing when we have been doing it for 17 years? Any other animal group would be requesting a reduction in testing requirements.
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Old Dec 28th 2016, 09:51 AM   #7
 
  Oct 2015
  Pa
Im one of those people-and I guess at a stage in my life- where I just want to raise something 'wild'. Its not enough to see them here and there or hunt them. Ive run the gamut of reindeer, elk, whitetails, bison. And to the points above I was kinda of thinking 'holy crap!' when you look at whats required (regulations and testing wise) for cervids. Maybe Ill just erect my high tensile fence
e and stare at some bison
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Old Dec 28th 2016, 02:28 PM   #8
 
  Oct 2015
  Pa
Hey jack you have both whitetails and elk- how do they compare/contrast in regards to feed, maintenance, ease on fencing etc? Maybe a topic for a new thread
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Old Dec 28th 2016, 02:56 PM   #9
 Jack's Avatar
 
  Apr 2009
  Vaughn, MT 59487

Cervid: mule deer,whitetail,elk,goats,bighorn & stone sheep
Awendling In all the years handling elk I have only had one hit the fence. Feed is easy as good hay is the base of their feed with some grain and pellets. Problem is they eat about 400 worth a year if fed well. Bulls are tough on fences but in reality just as bad as whitetail. They seem to never get sick for me and require little care.
Whitetail eat top food so do cost about 300 a year to feed well. When handled they seem to be looking for a place to break their neck as they get very excited when stressed. This testing does cause loss even in well handling facilities.
I have to be honest here I keep whitetail because I like to look at them just as much as I like to look at other wild type animals. I think we are blessed to be able to do this as it keeps me happy and I get great pleasure doing it.
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