Are deer farmers going too far?
Everyone likes antlers, especially the big ones. But are deer farmers pushing the envelope a little far?
Some deer farmers have figured out techniques to grow absolutely larger-than-life deer with unbelievable antlers. How are they growing these deer? Superior genes, incredible nutritional plan, hormonal alterations, steroids, or a combination of everything?
Those answers are a bit of an industry secret, but what isn't a secret is some of the unbelievable antlers that come from deer farming.
1. Gladiator XL
This buck scored 390 inches in only its third year. Yes, you read that right.
2. The '430-pound' deer
In short, this farm-raised deer actually weighed 420 pounds and was shot in Wisconsin. Not sure what they were feeding this deer, but it's the Shaq of whitetail bucks. Learn all about the urban legend buck here.
3. Big Rig, the 600-inch buck
On Whitetail Exchange, one straw of Big Rig's semen netted a cool $5,110 in 2012. In 2011, Big Rigg scored 636 inches at 2 years old. Who even knew deer could grow over 600 inches?
4. Largest buck shot on a hunting preserve
This buck was shot at Apple Creek Ranch in Wisconsin, but it's hard telling how much this buck cost. According to their website, a buck that ranges from 301-330 inches costs a whopping $17,500. This buck scored 610 inches and was considered to be the largest deer ever shot at the time of the hunt in 2012.
5. Max the buck
This gnarly Ohio buck and is one massive gentleman.
6. Who said Florida can't grow huge deer?
This a photo from a ranch in Florida. It appears they have no problem growing deer that belong in the circus of whitetail deer.
7. Ballistic, the 561-inch buck
The farmer who grew this giant buck claims Purina and AntlerMax products were the secret formula.
8. Another freak show buck
How much do you think this buck would score?
9. Holy mass!
I wonder how difficult it is for these deer to shed their velvet. These deer look healthy, but just with unbelievably-sized antlers.
10. Mr. 808
Take a look at the brow tines of this buck, as well as the drop tines and everything else. These deer defy the limits of nature.
Thinking about farming deer after seeing these pictures?
Well to start, you'll a need a breeder buck. The price for breeder bucks range from $2,000-$1,000,000. Some farmers share their breeder's bucks, while others buy straws for semen. The cost for a straw of semen ranges from $100-$1o,000.
I think it's important to note that not all deer farms don't grow these huge bucks. My family has had a deer farm for more than 20 years. No, we don't raise them to eat or shoot them; we're what other deer farmers would consider casual farmers.
Looking at these pictures many would claim that the deer are "unhealthy," but knowing what these deer are worth, farmers do everything to keep their herd just as healthy as photogenic.
Do you think science and genetics are going too far providing the means to grow humongous whitetail deer?