a conversation about game farms: GNORBY- Hi Guys, I'm new to this website but have read many questions and answers from you all and you all seem very helpful about giving out good information. I live in NW Minnesota and I'm thinking about starting up a small game farm. I would raise deer and mostly bucks. I have about 5 acres to deal with. I would at no point want much more than 10 to 20 animals at a time. Is this something that can be done and how could I go about doing this. I went to school and studied wildlife research and would like to do something with that degree. I would like to know if any of you could point me in the right direction for fencing, posts, food type, and what type of deer would be good starters to get my farm going. Look forward to all your responses and they will be greatly appreciated. Thanks. I was also going to ask some of you that raise deer, what do you do with all your shed antlers that you find from your animals. I love collecting deer sheds, but some of you must have thousands.
WILD RIVERS - Well, it depends on what you want to do with the deer you raise - sell them as shooters or as breeding stock. Either way you need a group of does and probably a buck to start. You are going to get about 50% does, so you need a plan for them. If you keep the bucks, how long are you going to keep them? Each year class will likely need a pen. They probably need to be a minimum of 2 years old to sell as shooters. If you are going for breeding stock you are going to have to spend a lot of money on your start up deer to get top of the line genetics. That market is very competitive. What you should do is go and visit some other deer farms to see what makes sense for you. Even if you have a degree in wildlife, you have barely scratched the surface of deer - we have been doing this 15 years and learn new stuff all the time. Also, like Dr. Kroll says, deer die, if you can't deal with that you shouldn't be in the deer business. Also, it is never your low end buck that dies, but usually the best one. Having said all that, raising deer is fascinating stuff - always something new. Each season brings its high points - right now we are watching the bucks grow out their antlers - some surprises and some disappointments - you just never know. Good luck in your venture. Also, like Dr. Kroll says, deer die, if you can't deal with that you shouldn't be in the deer business. Also, it is never your low end buck that dies, but usually the best one.