When it comes to exotic wildlife, then Texas is home to the distinctive and beautiful white-tail deer. Apart from adding to the wildlife, there is a huge deer population that local ranches lease the property for hunting and earn money.
The white-tail deer are among the most common animals in urban and rural communities in and around Texas. You may also get to hear and see deer collisions with automobiles.
The Increase in Deer hunting
Many hunters are familiar with the word ‘rut’, which is the time of the year when the deer breeds. The male deer called a buck is on the lookout for a female, and the hunters search for a buck. Few reputable deer breeding ranches in Texas offer various tours and schedules to hunters.
The deer breeding program is an expense but one that can generate a large amount of revenue. Some of the things that the ranch owners need to consider are
- Fencing is necessary as the deer are fast runners and can jump easily. Experts call for a proper game fence to keep the deer in a particular enclosure or space. On average, an 8-foot fence is standard, but some even get it as high as 10 feet
- There are two ways that a deer breeds. The most common is keeping a buck and doe in one enclosure so they can mate naturally. On the other hand, the other method is extracting semen from the bucks. A veterinarian is present on the ranch who inseminates the doe. The vet needs to be trained and having experience in doing this type of procedure
- After the extraction and insemination of semen, the pens need to be available to allow the bucks to wait after the medication wears off. The pens need to be enclosed and have a dark surrounding. After some time then, the bucks are placed in the outside pen until they are recently released back.
- The breeding program results in high-value offspring that can develop into healthy bucks that can be offered as a hunting game. Most of the high-value bucks usually draw high prices from the hunters. Although apart from hunting, the goal of breeding is to increase deer stock on the ranch
The Changing Trends in Deer Breeding
The huge population of deer we see in Texas is only because of certain laws and improving the habitat. In the last 20 years, many industry trends have come and gone. However, there is always good news for deer ranch owners. The new rules emphasize improving the genetics of Texas deer. Some of the key factors are
- A higher percentage of authentic Texas Genetics
Experts say that true Texas genetics thrives in a harsh environment. The introduction of northern genetics started in the 1990s and continued in the 2000s. The goal was to diversify the gene and result in healthy antlers. However, everything comes at a price, and the northern gene had larger bodies and heavy hair. The northern crosses did not adapt to the environment and were vulnerable to viruses and infections. In recent times, the emphasis has been on identifying and utilizing true Texas genes for breeding.
- Focus on clean typical
Another setback from the influx of northern genetics is resulting in a clean typical buck that grows bigger at a young age. The non-typical buck is the standard rather than being an exception. However, some of the ranch owners focused on sustaining the heavy looking bucks in the program. Today, most of the ranch owners proudly present bucks with big frames
One of the most important aspects is the storage of semen as it is of high valued bucks. The semen is kept in a climate-controlled environment to prevent the semen from getting spoiled
When it comes to selling deer to other new ranches, then either the new owner picks them up, or the old owner sends a delivery. However, transporting deer is quite challenging, and usually, delivery services are done by professionals
Things to Consider for Starting a Deer Ranch
There are nearly 1500 deer breeders in Texas, but only 10% are certified by the Texas Animal Health Federally Certified Breeders. That 10% are quite punctual and particular in testing the captive breeding herd. Only those who consistently test for 6 years qualify as Federally Certified Breeders. If you have land and planning to start a deer ranch, then you need to contact the certified breeders.
The best advantage you will get is high-quality bucks that will produce healthy offspring. Once a good number of offspring are raised, then it becomes easier to build a herd. There are many physical characteristics that you need to examine. You need to determine the size and weight of the deer. Experts say that you need to closely see how the deer are fed and the quality of the feed.
After you have analyzed the breeder, then you need to evaluate quality and quantity. The breeder may sell you the deer, but you need to ensure no stress on the deer. One needs to transport the deer in an air-conditioned trailer.
If you learn about deer breeding for the first time, few reputable ranch owners can help you out. The purpose is to help a landowner to improve the genetics of the deer. Some of the services that are offered are
- Providing top-notch deer stock, mostly bucks, and some do
- Giving details and tips on the best practices to manage the deer breeding program
- Offering boarding services if you wish to improve the deer genetics but require temporary space to learn the process
- Expert management skills to new ranch owners and deer breeders who want to start white-tail deer breeding
Owning and caring for the deer is an enjoyable hobby but not a simple one, apart from the considerable financial resources you need to spend a lot of time managing the ranch. It is better to visit various ranches that are already established and learn tips to manage deer breeding. Having a good buck is quite necessary but does account for 60% or more for the offspring gene. You have to ensure in getting healthy buck and doe to ensure healthy offspring.