PROGRESS: Getting the real deal on deer

SALEM, Ohio – Ask most deer farmers and you’ll hear the same thing: Back when he or she began deer farming, whether it was six or 16 years ago, there weren’t many others around, but now it seems deer farms are everywhere.
People are realizing there’s a good bit of money tied up in deer and they want to cash in, too.
Just five years ago when Whitetail Deer Farmers of Ohio President Steve Laughlin began deer farming, there were about 500 licensed farms in the state. By 2004, there were approximately 600, he said.
Could it be for you, too?

Why would I raise deer? What’s the market? Where’s the money?

Farmers typically raise deer for their genetics, trying to get large, desirable racks. When these bucks score well, usually at least more than 200 based on antler measurements, farmers can either sell the semen or offspring at high prices to other farmers who want to raise high-scoring animals.
Bucks that don’t score well often end up being sold as shooter bucks to hunting preserves, where people pay money to hunt.
Other ways to make money include selling venison and harvesting velvet from the antlers for medicinal use.

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