Deer (Venison) Ranching

fenced in deer
The United States' share in the global market place continues to grow as more venison availability is stimulating more aggressive marketing. Some traditional crop and livestock producers are turning to deer farming as an excellent way to start a new enterprise that diversifies their existing operation in a lower input and more environmentally sound manner. Deer farming also is an expandable enterprise that can be transitioned into with moderate land and capital investments, and species that fit individual interests and business aims.

Additionally, many deer farm businesses combine some sort of farming operation and a tourism component that may incorporate leisure activities or educational activities for school groups and other interested parties. This may include an educational outreach program for family, church or school groups; an associated trout pond for fishing or an aquaculture fish production system; bed and breakfast lodging; and in some cases, contract hunting of deer or game birds in a preserve setting. As with all other agritourism operations, the emphasis is on a quality experience in a clean, well-organized environment. Venison, or deer meat, is the primary product produced by most deer farmer/ranchers. In the United States, the venison market currently is in a developmental stage.  June 2012 ... Deer (Venison) Ranching
 

Marketing

  • Challenges of Marketing Non-Native Deer and Venison Products, Texas Extension Economics, Texas A&M - Producers should begin making marketing plans at the same time they develop production plans. Marketing includes the many activities and management decisions that culminate in the generation of revenue by selling products. Specialists often represent product, place, price and promotion marketing activities. This article discusses a few issues involving these activities as they relate to marketing non-native deer and venison products.
  • DeerFarms.Com - Provides directories of deer farms and deer farming associations around the world as well as related sites.
  • North American Deer Farmers Association - This association, the largest deer farming organization in the United States and Canada, is dedicated to the promotion of deer farming and ranching as an agricultural pursuit.
  • Wisconsin Commercial Deer & Elk Farmer's Association (WCDEFA) - Represents farmers who are commercially raising elk, red deer, fallow, reindeer and sika deer.

Production

Businesses/Case Studies

  • Birch Creek Deer Farm, Pennsylvania - A high-quality whitetail deer and freshwater trout farm. They aim to raise high-quality deer and trout and produce their own deer feed that is formulated to exceed the standards of other feeds on the market. The deer are selected for overall antler structure and size, as well as body mass. The operation sells doe fawns, bred does sired by high-scoring-rack bucks and bucks. There also are piebald and white (non-albino) deer available.
  • Bonnie Brae Farms, New Hampshire - Red deer venison, velvet and breeding stock producer who also has consulting services available for individuals interested in exploring deer farming. They provide business plan consultations and assist in working to design programs that meet state and local permitting requirements, as well as providing technical assistance with personnel training, pasture, facility and fence issues.
  • Grove Hill Deer Farm, Maine - Grove Hill Elk and Deer Farm was started in 1994 by David McGlinchey and his father-in-law, Ken Brasier. Using land that had been in the family for generations, the partners contacted other deer farmers and researched the subject, purchased deer and elk, and went into the deer farming business. The business has grown to over 250 animals, including several purebred North American elk. The business markets the velvet antler, venison and breeding stock.
  • Shipp Ranch Outfitting, Texas - Managed whitetails, mule deer and exotics for trophy hunting, breeding and source animals for artificial insemination.
  • Underhill Farms, Kansas - Offers fallow deer venison in the form of specially selected cuts (steaks, chops, roasts and ground burger). The operation also produces individually wrapped venison snack items (spicy venison sticks, venison jerky and summer sausage). They offer Rocky Mountain Elk products. 

Links checked February 2013.