The U.S. is overpopulated with deer. These wild animals have a tendency of running out into the middle of a country road or being hunted by sportsmen and sportswomen in the fall and winter seasons. In New Zealand, there is a different market for the lean mammals.
|Don answers questions about raising his trophy deer.|
The OSU crew stopped at Deer Genetics NZ to learn about his business in raising red deer for trophy stags and velvet production. Don, owner of this profitable business, shared some secrets and facts to his success in raising the deer.
- New Zealand’s terrain and climate is ideal for raising deer with his 1,000 acres.
- 2,500 fawns were born and raised last year.
- Deer are handled, vaccinated and artificially inseminated with a selective breeding program.
- Does are bred only 6-7 years before replacement.
- Red deer have the fastest growing antler in the animal kingdom — they reach full growth and are removed at 60 days.
- New Zealand is one of the only countries who can harvest antlers from a live animal.
- Antlers are removed to harvest the velvet for export to Asian countries for medicinal purposes.
- Live deer and semen are exported across the world because of the valuable genetics.
- Deer Genetics NZ has bred five of the world’s number one racks.