Deer farming is an underrated way to make money. Many are aware that deer farming can be an income source but are uncertain how they should go about conducting their farming activities so that they make money by deer farming.
You can make money deer farming by raising pedigree stock, selling deer urine for scents, selling venison, selling deer antlers, selling deer skull plates, and selling deer hides. It is possible to make money running a deer farm or investing in an existing deer farm.
Let’s explore various ways to make money by deer farming and look at expenses to consider when determining whether you will be able to profit off deer farming activities.
5 Ways to Make Money Deer Farming
Deer farms own different types of deer, such as red deer, whitetail deer, axis deer, fallow deer, sika deer, elk deer, red stag deer, mule deer, and reindeer. Here are a few ways that deer farms make money and tips on how you can make money deer farming.
1. Selling Venison (Deer Meat)
Venison has become a popular choice of meat that is now being sold in various fast-food restaurants. If you are able to secure a deal where you supply venison to a restaurant in your area, you will be able to make money through your deer farming activities.
Additionally, you can open a butcher as part of your deer farming activities. In this butchery, you can sell your venison products in various forms, allowing customers to purchase their venison from you directly. While this option will not provide the same income as securing a contract with a restaurant, it is an opportunity for locals to try your venison.
Having locals try your venison has the potential to create a demand for your venison, which will likely lead to restaurants in your area wanting to purchase venison from you so they can serve it in their restaurant.
If you want to raise deer to sell as venison, it is important to check your state’s laws as you may need to acquire a specific permit depending on the state you live in.
2. Raising Pedigree Stock
There are various deer breeds in existence. Each deer bread has its own unique size, color, meat productivity, and feeding habits.
While some captive deer breeds may grow to become rather large, others can often remain extremely small. Additionally, deer breeds can be of various colors, such as white, black, red, and other solid colors, while some breeds are multicolored.
Finally, certain deer breeds can be particularly meat-productive, making them perfect for anyone who would like to raise deer for meat. The popular deer breeds that exist are the fallow deer, the sika deer, the red deer, the whitetail deer, the axis deer, the red stag deer, the mule deer, and the reindeer.
In the breeding game, it is not so much about quantity but about who produces quality deer that will deliver the outcome the buyer wants. If you manage to offer deer of excellent quality, you may be able to turn your deer farming into a viable and profitable venture.
3. Selling Deer Urine For Scents
Believe it or not, many hunters actually buy deer urine.
Deer urine, particularly the pheromone-rich urine from a doe in estrus, is perfect for attracting wildlife when hunting. This buck-attractant has created quite the market for deer owners who now have the opportunity to sell their deer urine to hunters.
If you would like to make the most out of deer farming, it may be profitable to pair the sale of deer urine with raising pedigrees as you will be able to profit off their urine while they are in your care before being sold.
4. Selling Deer Antlers & Skulls
Deer antlers are often regarded as prized objects that are coveted by hunters and collectors. If you become recognized as someone who offers legally harvested deer, you will be able to sell deer antlers and skulls without fear of the law.
However, buying and selling of deer antlers and deer skulls are subject to state laws. Sellers who sell the antlers of a deer that they do not lawfully possess could face prosecution. In most states, the sale of antlers is permitted in the instance of legally harvested deer. Legally harvested deer can be interpreted to mean that the farmer is able to prove that the deer antlers were lawfully collected, possessed, and sold.
Given that there are so few farmers who offer legally harvested deer, you will be able to become a key role-player in the deer antler and skull industry, as you enable hunters and collectors to purchase antlers and skulls in a safe manner.
5. Selling Deer Hides
Deer hides can make exceptional leather garments including, gloves and coats. Additionally, soft, tanned deer hides can serve as unique décor when hung on a wall. Many companies are willing to purchase deer hides to tan and resell at a higher price through their stores or online.
If you’re able to find a reputable company, you may be able to make quite a few bucks selling your deer hides. In order to sell your deer hides, you will need to possess a deer permit and hunting license depending on the laws that govern deer farming and hunting in your state.
If you hope to offer your hides to reputable companies, it is crucial that you have these two documents else; they are unlikely to do business with you.
How Profitable Is Deer Farming?
Deer farming can be a very profitable business. The best profits are made through raising deer for sales. The market price of 2.5-year-old bucks starts at $10,000. Preserves and other deer farmers may also buy your semen at the price of $300 to $1,500 per straw.
Apart from running a deer farm yourself, it is also to invest in a deer farm is another way that you can make money deer farming. By investing in an existing deer farm, you are able to see that the farm is adequately operated in a manner that allows its income to exceed its liabilities. However, deer farming is not guaranteed to be a success.
How Much Does It Cost to Start a Deer Farm?
According to Oklahoma State University, an initial investment of $300,000 is required to get started with a large-sized deer business. This estimate includes the cost of buildings, food plots, peripheral fencing, housing for farm workers on the farm, farm equipment, wages for employees, utilities, food for employees, food for the deer, and veterinary services.
1. Cost of Buildings
You will need buildings where you can store your farming equipment, buildings to store the food for your deer, buildings for you to run your administrative activities or facilitate guests, and buildings where you can place your farmed deer in the event of treacherous weather conditions.
The food storage building will depend on how often you need to replenish your food supplies for the deer. Your administrative building will depend on the number of people on your team and will likely include space for you to accommodate guests.
Finally, the building where your deer are stored during unsuitable weather conditions will depend on the number of deer you have and the amount of space they require to roam freely.
Given that these buildings will need to be built to withstand extreme weather conditions and are likely to be large, it is likely that these buildings will be quite expensive. In this regard, paying for buildings is an expense that will need to be covered before you are able to begin deer farming. Therefore, to make money through deer farming, you will need to make more money than you spent on the buildings to have made a profit.
2. Food for the Deer
Deer have quite the appetite. The extent to which deer enjoy eating is rather unfortunate for deer farmers’ budgets but can be beneficial if you’re a deer farmer hoping to sell venison.
A standard ration for deer includes high protein pellets. Pellets’ prices will vary annually with local supply and demand conditions. A high-protein and high-fat pelleted feed will cost around $440 per ton.
If you’re hoping to make money by deer farming, you’ll need to adjust your mindset to view feeding your deer as an investment. The food you buy will feed them so that they become healthy and strong, making them ideal for resale, breeding, venison, and the sale of skin hides.
Nonetheless, the money you spend on deer food is an expense that needs to be taken into account when attempting to make money by deer farming.
3. The Cost of Veterinary Services
Naturally, you want your deer to be in tiptop shape.
When considering the well-being of your deer, you will need to take them for regular vet checkups. Additionally, they may require certain shots or medication to remain healthy. The annual vaccination cost per breeding animal is between $10 to $23 per head. Other veterinary expenses that should be budgeted include therapeutic treatment for pneumonia.
Therefore, when wanting to make money by deer farming, it is valuable to take into account the contingent expenses you may incur in vet fees.
4. Paying Employee Wages
Every employee on your farm is an asset when you consider what they bring to the table. However, on your balance sheet, employee wages are regarded as liabilities.
There are many types of work done on a farm. When calculating how you will make money through deer farming, it is important to look at how much you will need to spend on employee wages in order to cover their wages while still making a profit.
5. Farm Equipments
When operating a deer farm, you will require various pieces of equipment. Often, the equipment associated with deer farming is quite expensive.
Therefore, when determining whether you’ll make money by deer farming, it is important to consider whether the equipment you have to purchase will enable you to make the profits you require.
6. Utilities for the Farm
When operating a deer farm, you will be responsible for the payment of various utilities, including water, power, and sanitation bills.
All these expenses are crucial to the functioning of a deer farm and cannot be excluded when determining how much it will cost you to run a deer farm. At the heart of it, these utilities affect all the other expenses you will incur and will need to be budgeted for accordingly.
When determining whether you will make money from deer farming, you will need to calculate whether the cost you incur for utilities will be valuable in comparison to the amount of profit you will make.
Tips to Raise Deer for Meat
Generally, fallow, sika, and red deer are regarded as the best deer to raise for meat. Fallow deer are often described as having excellent yet mild flavor, with a gamey kick, whereas sika has a stronger game taste with a higher fat content, which adds more flavor to the meat.
Red deer produce meat that is full of flavor with an excellent texture that is often said to have a delicious game taste.
Irrespective of which type of deer you raise for meat, your deer will require pasture, ideally where the deer have access to small trees. It is crucial for deer to browse in a rotational grazing system as they flourish best in such a system and are able to maximize on nutrients from good pasture.
Ensuring that your deer’s nutritional needs are met is crucial when raising deer for meat because their health will impact the quality of meat you are able to produce. In colder months, you will need to provide hay for your deer and potentially a good grain that has been developed for deer to ensure their nutritional needs are met.
Furthermore, you will need to provide protection from the elements to ensure that the deer are able to get out of inclement weather and are also unable to escape the property.
You will likely need a permit to raise deer for meat. Some states restrict certain native deer species from being raised, such as the elk and white-tailed deer. Therefore, before you start a business in deer farming, you will need to check the laws in your state regarding deer farming.
Deer farming can bring in various income streams as you can do things such as raising pedigree stock, selling deer urine for scents, selling venison, selling deer antlers, selling deers’ skull plates, selling deer hides,
To make money through deer farming, you will need to ensure that your expenses to operate the deer farm do not outweigh the income you are making through your deer farming efforts.