Hunting for wild game is big business in the United States. According to the National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife Recreation, 90 million Americans over the age of 16 participated in some form of recreation involving wildlife, which included hunting wild game. Some of the most popular wild game to hunt is elk, deer, wild turkey, rabbits, and pheasant.
White-tailed deer are becoming especially popular animals to hunt and because of that, commercial deer farms are popping up all over the country. In 2012, there were 4,000 commercial deer farms in operation. If you would like to get started with your own commercial deer farm, here are three tips when it comes to raising white-tailed deer.
1. Understand the Laws in Your State
Usually when it comes to raising any type of wild or exotic animal, each state has its own regulations for doing so. If you are planning to start a white-tailed deer farm, you should start by knowing and understanding the rules and regulations in your state.
These regulations ensure the deer are being well cared for and that they are receiving the proper nutrition and aren't at risk for spreading diseases. There are also transportation and environmental laws that need to be followed as well.
2. Know What Kind of Fencing to Install
White-tailed deer have amazing jumping abilities. In fact, the average white-tailed deer has been known to clear an obstacle that is over 12 feet high. While they can jump this high, it doesn't mean they always will.
If the deer on your property has access to enough food and clean water, they won't have any reason to jump the fence. That being said, you should make sure your deer fence is at least eight feet high. A service, like Straight Shooter Game Fencing, can help you design the best fence.
3. Keep the Herd Healthy
One of your biggest concerns should be keeping your herd of white-tailed deer healthy. White-tailed deer are susceptible to a number of diseases, including bacterial, parasitic, and fungal diseases. The following diseases are especially concerning for white-tailed deer herds:
- Hemorrhagic disease (HD)
- Blue Tongue Virus (BTV)
- Parasitic worms
- Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD)
Not only do many of these diseases spread from one deer to the other, with the potential to affect the entire herd, but deer with any of these diseases is not edible. In order to keep your herd as healthy as possible, proper nutrition is extremely important. You should also develop a good relationship with your local veterinarian and utilize vaccination and deworming practices.