Together with deer farming come a great number of marketing opportunities to explore. Selling venison and bringing in hunters is just the beginning of the products that can be marketed. By exploring various venues, we can find many additional avenues where we can bring in additional income.
The most visible products to market in deer farming are of course the venison and the hunting.
Venison: When marketing venison, it is important to use the benefits of venison in the marketing strategy. Venison is a much healthier alternative to red meat. It is natural and organic. It has much less fat as well. The meat is easy to prepare, and can be frozen, vacuum packed, without losing quality or texture for up to one year. Deer meat can also be processed further, and sold as beef jerky, or marinated meat cuts.
Hunting: Individuals and groups can come to your deer farm to hunt. This provides ample income opportunities: Accommodation can be supplied, a guide can be hired for the expedition, the carcasses can be processed. This all along with the standard hunting fee per deer to be hunted.
Valuable byproducts of deer farming include the following:
Leather: Deer skins are a valuable asset which can be marketed raw, tanned or completed, in the form of shoes, wallets, handbags, purses, belts, and more. Deer leather tans easily, and takes color readily.
Antlers: Antlers of deer have been used in various ways throughout the centuries. Firstly they were used to fashion weapons and crude tools. Until as little as a century ago the antlers were fashioned into cutlery, handles for guns and knives, into buttons and other utensils. Curio shops still sell a steady supply of such hand crafted items (such as sugar spoons), made from deer antlers.
Antlers have long been used (and still are) to craft beautiful furniture, especially for use in bars, trophy rooms, and as focal points for specialty rooms.
Antlers have long been used medicinally – usually as velvet (the whole antler while still soft and in the growth phase). The Asians use the antler as an aphrodisiac and in any number of traditional remedies.
Antlers that were finely ground were used as a traditional raising agent in baking spicy biscuits in European countries.
Milk / cheese: In many countries the dairy products from reindeer are the only dairy products known to the people. The herders follow the migrating herds, and milk the semi-domesticated deer. They churn the milk to form milk, cheeses and more. Reindeer milk is a valuable source of dairy for people who are intolerant of cow’s milk.
Services: By-products of deer farming are not only those tangible items which can be sold. This can also include services which you can render to the public or to other deer farmers. This includes services such as allowing visitors to tour your farm. School groups love to have informative field trips where children can learn more about the wildlife in your area. Guided tours or guided hunts can also be arranged.
Fawns can be hand raised or hand fed for other farmers. Additional enclosures can be rented out for young deer, or boarding can be offered for deer from neighboring farmers at certain seasons.
Another valuable by-product is the semen of your stags. Artificial insemination, or just the semen can be offered to other deer farms.
If you have truck with which you transport your deer, you could arrange transportation for other deer farms.
If you have the facilities to slaughter and/or process the deer carcasses, these services can also be offered to neighboring deer farmers.
As you can see, the opportunities on your deer farming venture are endless, and by researching other avenues, and pursuing them, you can increase your income considerably.