White-tailed deer are the most coveted game animals in the United States, and Texas is no different. In fact, deer hunting is King in Texas! As long as our deer hunting heritage remains a part of our culture there will be a demand for trophy deer. This demand has led to the whitetail deer breeding industry, which has undoubtedly produced some impressive animals. The huge demand for big bucks has caused a marked increase in the business of producing and selling “trophy” deer, both to hunters and other breeders.
Deer really are a big business. The white-tailed deer breeding industry contributed more than $650 million toward the Texas economy last year. But Texas is not the only state where private landowners can breed and raise penned whitetail. Other states across the country produced proportionate monetary gains too. Whitetail deer farming can generate good income for those that have the capital to get into the business, and breeders keep cranking out bigger and bigger bucks. The photo below, from a Texas deer breeding operation, shows what looks to be the largest yearling whitetail buck ever produced. For anyone that is confused, that’s a 1 1/2 year old buck, a mere juvenile by traditional deer hunting standards.
“Here is a yearling whitetail buck we have in or breeder pens. We have high expectations for this guy — thinking this buck will go 320+ inches, which will give him the status of the largest yearling whitetail buck to ever touch Texas soil.”
Deer hunters love big bucks, but not all deer hunters love big breeder-pen-produced bucks. To harvest a giant, free-ranging whitetail is the ultimate for many deer hunters, but a large number of hunters see shooting farm-grown deer as nothing more than shooting domestic livestock. The biggest argument in favor of deer breeders is that they are filling the demand for trophy deer. Of course, many bucks being produced are sold to other breeders.
But money talks, and the fact remains that there are hunters, or at least shooters, out there that are willing to dole out huge amounts of money to get a giant whitetail buck. For those with little time on their hands to spend deer hunting, a pen-raised deer released into a relatively small “ranch” makes for a sure thing. Like other things in this world, it may not be considered ethical by everyone, but it is legal.
If you love Texas, you will LOVE this video!