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Freak Show Bucks: A Hard Look at Breeding For Antlers

Freak Show Bucks: A Hard Look at Breeding For Antlers

Craig Dougherty investigates the ugly side of deer farming, including this outrageous 561-inch buck.
freakshow_01

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from Dr. Killdeer wrote 43 weeks 4 days ago

First, we should not be surprised. When science meets enterprise, this is what we get. But fishing genetically altered freaks in fishbowl isn't really fishing, is it? These aren't really deer, but more importantly, those aren't really hunters. Both are freaks.

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from David Meow wrote 43 weeks 4 days ago

There's nothing wrong with breeding deer. There is also nothing wrong with people who want to go out an experience the equivalent to a cow shoot, which is exactly what this is. There is also nothing wrong with actual hunters who call out the people who go on these shoots just to collect another piece of furniture what they actually are. Why not just skip the middle man and buy your 200 inch straight off of ebay like you would a TV? Sad.

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from speakertocrappie wrote 43 weeks 5 days ago

What is so special about deer that we shouldn't manipulate them?
Eat turkey? Bred so big they can't reproduce without help.
Sheep used to not have anything but scraggly bits of hair.
Potatoes used to be poisonous.
Like to show off your yorkie-poodle mix?

Hypocrits, all of you.

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from jharri1234 wrote 44 weeks 6 days ago

Personally I do NOT think breeding Trophy Bucks is ethical. Where is the sport in hunting a deer that literally cannot move through the woods, jump a fence or even raise its head to look for danger because of the FREAK antlers these animals are engineered to wear.
What kind of hunter wants to hunt a DNA altered deer. Wow, you shot a 5000 Boone and Crocket deer.............. that would mean nothing to me or any true sportsman. Now lets put them in a pen (high game fence) and tie a bell around its neck, while you are at it, why not put a red and white "Bulls Eye" on the deer as well.
This is a "sport" and NOT a collection of FREAKS. I am sure that someone will always come up with a bigger and better DNA to inject for the next FREAK but why? Please STOP and leave this sport to nature and not the money grubbing Labs trying to turn a great outdoor experience into another day at the Laboratory.

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from JammieMcPherson wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

Wow....

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from Gary Henson wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

I don't think this kind of operation should be allowed unless it is naturally occurring and I would not spend money to shoot one of these bucks and I would never do a (canned hunt)or for that matter "shoot" over a planted food plot. I do not think that it should be called hunting when you bait game and in my opinion planting food plots then shooting over them is baiting.

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from Fishin Magician wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

THIS ARTICLE HAS BEEN UP FOR OVER A YEAR ???
ANYWAY .....WEIRD LOOKIN BUCK.....I WOULDN'T WANT THAT SILLY LOOKIN THING UP ON MY WALL....I'LL TAKE A BACK STRAP TO THE PAN THOUGH....

FM

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from highandwide wrote 1 year 44 weeks ago

CWD started with penned wild animals. States and wildlife managers need to seriously look at these farms and make a plan that will allow the farmer to support himself but will also put an end to this type of farming.

How do you do that?
1) New farms of this type need to be illegal.
2) Selling or transferring the farm should also be illegal.
3) The goal of putting an end to penned wild animals needs to be considered and thought out in any related legislation.

I get that fact that many people's livelihoods are tied to this business, but that doesn't mean this type of business needs to exist forever. We need to protect our natural resources!!

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from wtgallery wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

Although I would never spend that type of money to kill a huge buck I do support other peoples rights to do so. We live in a free country and if people are willing to pay for this then people are going to farm and create these monster bucks. I am a meat hunter and typically only shoot doe every year. I have not fallen into the realm of being an antler hunter.

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from FluffySmith wrote 2 years 12 weeks ago

I think that farm raised deer should only be used to create scents and petting farms for kids. Inbreeding them and using only grain and bottle feeding them is not what I call 100% natural breeding. I believe using food plots and scouting cameras is nothing like deer farming cuz the deer are still wild and huntin them is still a challenge to the hunter and gives the deer his wild senses to protect himself in the wild.

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from Vince0331 wrote 2 years 16 weeks ago

Think of it this way my grandpa use to tell me about ten points or even the double rack twelve that someone killed on his back forty that were the once in a lifetime bucks but know you watch tv and they would consider a wide 8 a dissapiont my greatest trophy was the first deer I killed a little barley leagal spike I was 8 years old and i have kill many deer but that is the only one that still hangs proudly in the shed it is so much the deer as it is the meories created on the hunt being with famliy and friends or just being out in gods great outdoors

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from IND_NRA wrote 2 years 20 weeks ago

The only thing bigger then these antlers is the EGO's that they cause.

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from Deerhunter25 wrote 2 years 30 weeks ago

Those are cool to look at, but hunting is getting out to get a NATURAL sized deer. However, if a deer gets that size with no artificial breeding or diet I think it is fair game. Due to te fact that it is natural.

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from Scott Hall wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

While these deer are great to look at, I would never consider shooting one of them in a high fenced enclosure a real "hunt". I respect the right of the deer farmer to engage in a legal form of agriculture and thus provide for his family in the way he/she sees fit, however I do not believe that any of these bucks, however beautiful I personally think they are, should be included in any record book along with a legally harvested, wild 170 inch whitetail. Just my thoughts.

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from bears3b6 wrote 2 years 36 weeks ago

man made food plots are nothing similar to this. if your willing to put in the time and effort to make them your just creating a place deer want to be. is that not what you look for when scouting a new piece of property? places where deer will be. people are rediculous trying to say deer farming for hunting is ok. just be 100% fair chase

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from Salladthewhitet... wrote 2 years 36 weeks ago

that is just plain sick

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from armyhunter wrote 2 years 37 weeks ago

My thooughts:
The only differences between deer farming and putting in food plots and naming deer from trail cameras is; the deer farmers call themselves deer farmers. The "hunters" that do everything they can to controll breeding, imporve the herd and feed deer suppliments to grow bigger antlers are the ones that are disillusioned and throwing stones in glass houses.
What if the B&C and P&Y clubs look at the deer shot over man made food plots also. How about not letting them in the record books either.
Would I ever hunt/shoot one of these deer? Not a chance. For one I couldnt afford to and two, most importantly the half rack 5pt I shot on public property in PA is a lot bigger trophy to me than one of those deer.

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from bears3b6 wrote 2 years 38 weeks ago

this is sick how many people actually agree with this fenced in hunting crap. should be ashamed to even call yourself a hunter if you agree with shooting a deer that is used to humans. i dont mind the whole business aspect of it raising the deer to sell their urine or antlers but in no circumstances should they ever be hunted. do it like the rest of us and put your time in scouting and being with family and friends cause that is what hunting is actually all about. it should never be about just going out to shoot a boone and crocket size deer. there is way more to hunting than just getting a big one and i think too many hunters have been too wrapped up in shooting a monster instead of actually enjoying the sport.

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from max klepper wrote 2 years 38 weeks ago

I'm not against the raising of these deer but they should not be comparative to that of a deer in nature. I personally enjoy seeing some of these bucks but it gets to a point where the antlers don't even look that great. I would much rather shoot a deer that doesn't walk up to me and start licking the tip of my arrow.

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from deerman2000 wrote 2 years 40 weeks ago

Have any of you haters ever been to a deer farm? These people are the nicest people you will ever meet and they have a love for the animal.Every thing that you see on these "Freaks" heads are 100% natural without any steroids. Im a deer farmer and its one of the best investmens I have ever made. There is nothing better when you come home after a long days work and your bottle fed doe fawns come running up to you when you go in by them.

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from Buck61 wrote 2 years 42 weeks ago

I, in no way, think that pen raised deer are a bad thing..but I DO agree that they should in NO WAY be associated with deer taken in the wild. Personally, it saddens me in that they undermine the old school trophies (150"+). People see these deer and think that a true trophy is small. I have a 175" buck I shot with my bow and at hunting shows it looks tiny compared to all the "pet deer". Shooting deer in your back yard does not translate to a trophy...no matter how big your yard is. That being said..if the only way you can shoot a monster buck is to pay 20 grand...go for it! After all, beauty is in the eye of the beholder..i guess that can translate to..A trophy is in the eye of the beholder..right guys?

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from warriorclass99 wrote 2 years 42 weeks ago

This is all part of the industrial age of hunting. I am all for fare chase and in the wild hunts. This article makes me think that hunting is no longer about those things. From growing up in the wonderful Mountains of the Blue Ridge I can say seeing any buck in the wild no matter the size is better than seeing 100 bucks in a pen. Bucks that big are no good to eat anyway. I have always said you cant eat the horns.

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from terrylaforme wrote 2 years 42 weeks ago

I don't think these buck's should be allowed to compete against REAL WILD BUCKS for any record books. That in no way would be fair to the average hunter.

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from That1guy wrote 2 years 42 weeks ago

Educated line breeding of whitetails is in no way any different than what takes place in the performance horse industry,breeding racing pigeons, or for that matter the manipulation of corn,soybeans or other vegetables. The main reason a large percentage of doe fawns in deer pens are bottle raised is to manage both health and stress management issues. As a deer farmer I do agree some folks have "gone over the top" with the antler type they have decided to breed for,but, this is their choice and I believe in the end the public demand will ultimately determine what it is "WE" as an industry should breed for. The deer industry will become not as much a "between breeders" influenced market,but, will evolve into a "hunter demand combined with venison consumer" agricultural endeavor. I wonder how many "anti-deer pen" hunters still stalk their targets with a handmade longbow and arrows or even a flintlock musket without the advantage of scent lock clothing, illuminated sights,and bullet drop compensating scopes? The problem I have with this article is the fact it tends to put a wedge in the hunting community that we do not need during a time in which outside pressure is already trying to remove the right to hunt from us! Let's stop arguing about a subject that in the end will be corrected by consumer demand and join forces to unite against a common enemy we both have the"anti-hunting party" who would prefer that both sides of this issue lose! Remember that if we all liked the same thing there would only be vanilla ice cream.

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from Keith in Texas wrote 2 years 42 weeks ago

I don't hear much complaining about shooting pen-raised pheasants, quail, chukar or mallards. I also don't think many people confuse such as real hunting. As long as there is a market for an item or a service, then their will be someone to provide it, so the real problem are not the ranchers who raise the deer, but the shooters who pay for the deer without reservation. Just as I wouldnt confuse shooting a pen raised pheasant on a shooting preserve with trudging across a muddy field in the panhandle of Texas, I am not going to mix up a big buck with a tag in its ear behind a ten foot fence with a free ranging wary whitetail. The only downside I can see is for the legitimate hunter who is saddled with the ever increasing market price of a deer lease or hunting land by ranchers and farmers rightfully and legitimately taking advantage of a beneficial economic situation when everything else in their field is going bust....

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from Drew YoungeDyke wrote 2 years 42 weeks ago

Why do we hunt? Any part of our motivation which is derived from ego contributes to this practice. Do we hunt to challenge ourselves, or to brag to others? To fully experience and participate in the natural environment, or to decorate our living rooms? Is venison or herd health our first consideration when selecting prey, or is it B & C score? If we re-focus on core hunting values, there would be no market for this nonsense.

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from trapper vic wrote 2 years 42 weeks ago

Not everyone who likes to hunt has opportunity. Some of us are land owners with wild herds to manage and hunt. Many hunters travel miles to hunt on priviledged land. This not just a deer issue it is a hunting issue. We release pen raised pheasants and quail for youth hunts and paid hunts. Bottom line is, we are increasing the # of hunters. A teen who shoots his first pen raised bird will soon want to go to South Dakota for the real thing. Deer, morrell mushrooms. or birds they all taste the same wild or farmed. The antler issue can be argued as we see here!

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from Tater wrote 2 years 42 weeks ago

Lets talk about Farming for Antlers.

As private land owners or hunting clubs is that not what we try to do. We spend thousands of dollars a year in food plots, feeders, and other management systems. Do we not every year control breeding rights by shooting an killing inferior stock so that older more mature bucks have less competition and keeping our shooting off small percentages of doe to keep the doe to buck ratio in check thus trying to control mother nature and the out come of our property and the deer herd that you manage. When we as hunters by products for deer what do we look for. ANTLER GROWTH! Throwing stones at a glass house!

Lets talk about all the benefits that come from raising deer. Like those food plots you plant every year. The research for these products are done on a deer farm ( Whitetail Institute). The bagged feed that you put into feeders, comes from research provided from deer farms. We are apart of the landscape of hunting weather it is approved of or not.As hunters you use our products and benefit from our research but you still want to sit back and condemn our industry.Its hypercritical!

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from jsramsdell wrote 2 years 42 weeks ago

Why are some of you bashing Mr. Dougherty when he simply just gave us a story and his opinion? And in some instances of arguing against his opinion, you are comparing cattle, dogs, trout, etc. to deer bred for large antlers. It is sort of like comparing apples to oranges, they just don’t taste the same. And arguing about trying to get pee from a "wild" deer, maybe you should read the whole story because Dougherty stated that some people raise deer for other reasons besides growing monstrous antlers (scents, venison, etc.), which he isn’t against. He also never stated that "ALL" deer are bottle fed, instead he said "MOST," so there's no reason to call that a false statement! But all I can do is give my opinion, and I too would much rather be on the outside looking in. It is neat at times to see how large of antlers some deer can grow, but I am definitely much more proud and excited to HUNT a “wild” 130 inch 4x4 than I ever would be HARVESTING a “wild” pen-raised/captured 250 inch freak of breeding. So am I against this type of breeding? No! I just won’t praise this business venture.
P.S. For those of you calling names, saying he should visit a farm and become more informed, calling his article uneducated, etc., think about educating yourself again and return to 6th grade English to learn how to write. This would help give you credit when you are trying to prove a point.

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from 6phunter wrote 2 years 42 weeks ago

INTERESTING SUBJECT""" AWESOME BUCKS NO MATTER WHETHER I AGREE OR NOT. PROS AND CONS TO BOTH SIDES OF THE FENCE, MY OBJECTION IS DO OR SHOULD WE HAVE THE RIGHT TO RESTRICT WHAT ANOTHER MAN MAY DESRIE ?

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from U.S. eh Champ wrote 2 years 42 weeks ago

Wow! I am really shocked at the amount of people who understand and support this. I find it disturbing and cruel. A kind of sick fascination of "how far can we push the envelope"? This certainly can't be about "helping" anything but the wallet. I am all for people making a living, but, this seems unconscionable. Just plain ugly.

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from vermontkyle wrote 2 years 42 weeks ago

Please. If anything Dougherty went easy on the antler pornographers. What about the ones who use hot irons to manipulate entlers when they are in velvet? The only reason high fence operations are even recognized by the outdoor industry is because of their ad dollars. I do not have a sub to Outdoor Life but will get one now knowing they tell it as it is.

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from I8deer wrote 2 years 42 weeks ago

One last thing all dogs must stop being raised by humans they need to go back to the wild must be all that inbreeding that got all the different types of dogs

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from pullinandeer wrote 2 years 42 weeks ago

I would like to start off by saying that this "journalist" obviously did not do any homework on the subject. He went to the first website he found and went off of what it said. he has OBVIOUSLY NEVER visited a deer farm or hunting preserve. I personally have to become more educated with the industry, and trust me it is nothing like he says it is. I will guarantee that these "freak bucks" as he calls them, are treated with more care and respect than some people give to their own children. I understand that some people dont like high fenced hunting, and that is fine with me, but dont go bashing until you know the whole story. I believe it would be very appreciated if the person would go out, visit farms, and do the homework on the farms and also get his dollar figures correct, and re-write the story. I always thought this site was about outdoor life, not bashing the outdoor life and those who support it.

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from I8deer wrote 2 years 42 weeks ago

I just would like to say to all the hunters out here were do you think your deer scent comes from? I have lived in the country all my life hunting fishing and so on I have never seen any hunter in my area out in the woods holding a bottle under a doe so he can have some good deer scent

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from HuntersBetterUnite wrote 2 years 42 weeks ago

One last comment...and this always seems to put things in perspective for people. Everyone is familiar with 4-H. In 4-H, the kids pick a steer(s)(casturated male cow)every year. They halter break that steer, wash the steer, groom the steer. If they make it to the State Fair, that steer is so tame by then the kids can lay on them, sleep on them, pretty much do anything with them. And yes, this is from experience. At the end of the State Fair is a huge sale. They sell their steers. Where are these steers going? Not to someone's farm to be a pet, not to go back into the breeding program (they are casturated)...they are going on whatever buyer is there from whatever meat packing plant and heading to slaughter. I've personally led my steers onto that semi, but I still love steak! Doesn't matter if I buy it in the store or buy it from the local farmer. Its a business that pumps millions of $$ into the economy every year. Its a business that employs thousands of people. Its a business that uses idle land suitable for nothing else. Its a business that brings the family together doing something fun outside and its very rewarding with alot of fun things going on throughout the year. Its a new twist on the family farm that is slowly disappearing in this country.

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from HuntersBetterUnite wrote 2 years 42 weeks ago

One last comment...and this always seems to put things in perspective for people. Everyone is familiar with 4-H. In 4-H, the kids pick a steer(s)(casturated male cow)every year. They halter break that steer, wash the steer, groom the steer. If they make it to the State Fair, that steer is so tame by then the kids can lay on them, sleep on them, pretty much do anything with them. And yes, this is from experience. At the end of the State Fair is a huge sale. They sell their steers. Where are these steers going? Not to someone's farm to be a pet, not to go back into the breeding program (they are casturated)...they are going on whatever buyer is there from whatever meat packing plant and heading to slaughter. I've personally led my steers onto that semi, but I still love steak! Doesn't matter if I buy it in the store or buy it from the local farmer. Its a business that pumps millions of $$ into the economy every year. Its a business that employs thousands of people. Its a business that uses idle land suitable for nothing else. Its a business that brings the family together doing something fun outside and its very rewarding with alot of fun things going on throughout the year. Its a new twist on the family farm that is slowly disappearing in this country.

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from HuntersBetterUnite wrote 2 years 42 weeks ago

One false statement that I would like comment on is that they are all bottlefed?? No..some are, mostly does and that is BECAUSE they are not domesticated and very hard to work if there isn't some calm ones to keep their heads on straight. Deer are dumb...not smart. They have instinct, but are not smart. Bucks are not bottle raised on most farms other than if necessary (abandoned) and these bucks are usually kept for conversation pieces and learning tools for kids and visitors. How many kids have felt the velvet of buck and knew that it was SO hot and how soft it was!! These animals are not desensitized. They have so much wild left in them that people are amazed...alot of tails is all alot of people see if one thing spooks them. They all have different personalities and even though you may bottlefeed a doe for 3 months, spend time with her several times a day...the day you wean her (depending on her personality) may be the last day you are ever that close to her. Don't judge if you don't know. Its very rewarding, fun and it is legal. Some people that don't have the chance to hunt free range have gotten the pleasure and thrill of hunting behind a fence. Wounded soldiers and the handicapped enjoy many free hunts from these "terrible" deer farmers and ranches every year. Those hunters may save your right to hunt someday if it is ever challenged! Otherwise, they may not have cared and didn't bother.

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from Jnelson64 wrote 2 years 42 weeks ago

What disgusts me is how they claim these are bettering the management of whitetail...by bottle feeding these deer, they are desensitizing them to humans and more importantly predators. these deer wouldnt last in the wild...so why bother? i can understand the money side of it or the fact you want a huge a$$ deer on the wall. but to say its bettering the wild herds is hard for me to digest. if anything it would ruin our current native herds and wreck the natural selection that takes place in the real world. for me im one of the guys on the outside of the fence, tho i understand everyone has their right to do this...for me personally i couldnt morally hunt one of them. if you can more power to ya i guess

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from HuntersBetterUnite wrote 2 years 42 weeks ago

HSUS and PETA do not care how you hunt...high fence, no fence doesn't matter. They just don't want you to hunt...period. High fence operations don't downgrade the hunters that CHOOSE to hunt on their own. Why can't it be the same the other way around? To each his own...same with non typical vs typical. I personally prefer the typical look as that is what most deer look like. Most of the "bashed" deer farmers put alot of time and money into getting kids to hunt, fish, trap and spend their time outdoors. The state organiations spend thousands of $$ every year teaching and helping kids, helping wounded soldiers be able to hunt. So much good "on the other side of the fence" that most do not know (or talk) about.

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from Ranchmanager wrote 2 years 42 weeks ago

Hunters are benefiting everywhere because of whitetail genetic improvement. Years ago it was protien fed deer and now the next level in genetics. Pen deer stack genetics for antler growth. Whitetail management programs are everywhere and the reason is to grow bigger antlered whitetails TOO SHOOT. It's the overall hunter demand that drives deer breeding as a form of whitetail management of the future. most photos in this article are of breeder bucks that are not for hunting but to breed to release offspring that have better antlers for hunters. High fences keep good genetics in and bad genetics out and that includes the disgruntled hunter genetics. See Ya

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from sbemke wrote 2 years 43 weeks ago

Wow, looks like a lot of the local pet deer farmers e-mailed each other when they sauce this article, trying to defend their insult to hunters of a business. I would like to see a poll of how many hunters out there support these operations. I will bet my hunting privileges that vast majority of hunters do not support this. What kind of person truly pays $20,000 to kill a deer someone grew for them? I can't believe the amount of BS I am hearing these people spew in support of these operations. Where is the pride, character and resilience that goes into hunting a truly wary and wild deer that you earned trough hard work, instead of shooting a deer that has a price tag dangling from it antlers. How can any true spirited hunter be for something as gross and insulting as the operations. How do you pull the trigger with any sense of self-respect knowing you are shooting a deer that was grown artificially. And to read some arguments above how the artificial deer live longer and better lives than deer in the wild??? No kidding. Since when did anyone say Mother Nature was kind. It's called the cycle of life. Animals live and die so others can do the same. That's how it's suppose to be. I could go on and on, but listening to the support of this is disgraceful. The only one I can tell that support this on this site are the deer farmers themselves.

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from Tater wrote 2 years 43 weeks ago

Im a Hunter, a Fisherman, a Sportsman, and A proud Deer Farmer! The statements made above are opinions of the author and do not represent our industry. I encourage you all to visit a deer farm or hunting operation, talk to a deer farmer first hand. Understand what we do and why. You will find a Hunter, a Fisherman, a Sportsman in them all.

I will be terminating my subscription to Outdoor Life do to the misleading, uneducated, and blasphemous comments stated in the article above!

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from NotAHunter wrote 2 years 43 weeks ago

I'm not a hunter NOR a deer farmer. If anything...I'm closer to being a "tree hugger" of sorts. I can't stand back and let Craig and this grossly misinformed article go unchallenged nor you idiots who blither on how "great" Boone & Crockett is for taking a stand against high-fence operations. Granted in EVERY industry is a bad example that gets thrown in the spotlight as the "norm" but any high-quality preserve IS fair chase. Some of these preserves are larger than 3 sq miles (sometimes MUCH bigger in Texas) when a whitetail spends his time within 1 sq mile. If B&C is so "GREAT" than why is the illegally poached Dryden buck in the record books... or how about the MILO HANSON who chased his deer in his 4x4 for HOURS, even thru several fences, is in the record book. Wow... that is real sporting, eh?? I'm gonna go out on a limb and label the poor asshole who doesn't have money to hunt high-fence as the bugger that yells the loudest and somehow think it's sporting to hunt over a pile of corn or in a truck. Yo stupid sod...don't book a hunt to Africa....it's about 99% high-fence.

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from Ram1500 wrote 2 years 43 weeks ago

I prefer mother natures originals.

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from Ishi wrote 2 years 43 weeks ago

There will always be a market for these freak deer just like there will always be a market for male enhancement pills.

I agree with Craig. I am satisfied with my 100 incher.

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from NMTrapper wrote 2 years 43 weeks ago

All domesticated animals were wild at one time and many today do not look any thing like their wild ancestors. To say that it is wrong for us to domesticate a new species today and alter it's characteristics is like the antis saying it is wrong for us to trap or hunt or fish because we are so much more enlighted now than when we were in our primitive state.

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from Buck Chaser wrote 2 years 43 weeks ago

It looks like the deer in picture 2 are showing what they think of Craig's misinformed article. If a hunter, and yes they are hunters wants to hunt high fence than that is their rite as an American. If another hunter doesn't, than don't. These "deer breeders are wrong" wieners haven't a clue on what's involved in capital, time, sweat and blood in operating a deer breeding facility. They talk about the "big dollars" that a rare few number of deer bring. By the time you pay for the sky rocketing feed cost for 3-4 years, deer health care and handling I would challenge any of them to "show me the money". In most cases the breeder deer are treated better and with far more respect than any deer would be shown in the wild. Visit a breeder and them make an informed decision.

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from deeradvocate wrote 2 years 43 weeks ago

Do you really think that a hunting operation could charge a lot of money to shoot a buck with an ear tag? These animals are released in large enclosures. 1000 acre+. These animals aren't just standing at the gate waiting on you to hand feed them. You have to hunt them! Often they are released and not seen again until next year. And to call these incredible buck Freaks sounds like pure jealousy! I cost a lot of money and attention to successfully breed a big buck, and all the breeders I know are very passionate about the health of there deer. They have to be if they are to be successful.

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from Saltwater4me wrote 2 years 43 weeks ago

Let's not cast stones in glass houses. I agree, some of the deer pictured have grown to crazy big sizes and don't even look like whitetails. All parts of the hunting industry have people on the extremes (baiters, paochers, night hunters, etc..). These people who are raising whitetails, for the most part, are people who truely love whitetail deer and just want to see them grow. Yes, that leads to bigger and bigger horns by selective breeding. Now down to the real facts...some like high fence hunting some don't, it is a matter of opinion. The deer farming industry contributes an unbelievable amount of money to deer research that would not be available otherwise. Like them or not these guys are paying millions in advertsiing and spending money to be at trade shows all over the country. If you don't like them, then don't go hunt there. At some point we better all get on the same team because people like HSUS and PETA would like nothing more than the hunting industry to be divided against itself. Another FACT - the anti high fence side must stop hiding behind disease as a issue. The has NEVER...NEVER been a case of CWD in a captive herd of whitetailed deer. It could happen tomorrow, but thankfully it hasn't happened yet. So far as ethics are concerned, this is where we are casting stones in glass houses. How about release quail hunts or pheasants hunts.... anybody picking on those guys?? To each his own.

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from venisonator wrote 2 years 43 weeks ago

It should be shameful for anyone to shoot these freaks and an even bigger shame to view their mounts.

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from prairieghost wrote 2 years 43 weeks ago

here's an idea.
require the deer "farmers" to release 50% of all doe fawns sired by these freaks into the wild.
the genetics would be diluted into a wild population but still give some real hunters a shot at a wonder-buck in the wild.

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from schwings wrote 2 years 43 weeks ago

Do they take the tags out of their ears before or after they are shot? Makes me sick!

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from carrcarr wrote 2 years 43 weeks ago

So much of the information in this article is misleading and just simply not true I do not know where to start.How is breeding Whitetail deer any different from breeding cattle,sheep,hogs or even trout.Most states raise trout in hatching facilities and release into tail waters for anglers to catch.The trout will die if not caught!The released deer do great once released. By the way your picture of Gladiator is not Gladiator,I know he is in my deer pens you idiot.

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from I8deer wrote 2 years 43 weeks ago

Maybe Craig should know facts before he writes.
I have visited a few deer farms in my business and the buck fawns are not tame for only the does are bottle fed maybe you should not judge these farms till you visit one first second you should ask your publisher were he gets his deer photos for the magazine.

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from deeradvocate wrote 2 years 43 weeks ago

Breeding deer in a controlled environment where they are feed well, medicated if sick, and safe from predators for years then shoot for a quick death is humane! Most deer in the wild die of disease, starvation, or predators. For farmers to provide pen raised healthy deer to a hunting preserves to be shoot so that it does not affect the wild population than I say good for them. And FYI if you tranquilize a doe then try to AI her your wasting the semen! They are ran through something similar to a cattle shoot.

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from Mark Orlicky wrote 2 years 43 weeks ago

Some of these deer are positively disgusting. The idea that "sportsmen" would "hunt" one of them and try to enter the buck into the record books really says something, doesn't it?
Yet... these freaks will continue to be produced as long as there's a market for them. Boone & Crockett and Pope & Young are doing their part by refusing to recognize these freaks. The rest of us should follow that example. Fair chase, no pen raised animals, ... and showing the animal some respect.

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from papajocu wrote 2 years 43 weeks ago

To correct my own posting: Hats off to Tony Schoonen of the Boone & Crockett Club and to Kevin Hisey, Executive Secretary of Pope and Young for refusing to recognize the "barrel hunt" deer.
I could see deer being raised for meat and some things but not trophy antlers.
To me, you might as well be using epoxy to glue antlers together.

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from papajocu wrote 2 years 43 weeks ago

I have heard that "pen raised" deer are not allowed in the trophy books. Is this true? This isn't a trophy, its just weird.

I'll bet he feels better after the winter shed.

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from Susybeast wrote 2 years 43 weeks ago

This practice has the same basis as most of the ugly and disgusting things in our society. . . GREED!

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from Chaletaway wrote 2 years 43 weeks ago

Too bad they are not natural though. I really frown on the weirdos that let these freaks grow.
My 2p

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from djohns13 wrote 2 years 43 weeks ago

I think a 80 pound yearling doe taken legally is a better trophy than any of these bucks. They are cool to look at, but in so sense of the words are they a hunting trophy.

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from Chaletaway wrote 2 years 43 weeks ago

Bet this buck has a great neck roast..

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from terrylaforme wrote 2 years 42 weeks ago

I don't think these buck's should be allowed to compete against REAL WILD BUCKS for any record books. That in no way would be fair to the average hunter.

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from HuntersBetterUnite wrote 2 years 42 weeks ago

HSUS and PETA do not care how you hunt...high fence, no fence doesn't matter. They just don't want you to hunt...period. High fence operations don't downgrade the hunters that CHOOSE to hunt on their own. Why can't it be the same the other way around? To each his own...same with non typical vs typical. I personally prefer the typical look as that is what most deer look like. Most of the "bashed" deer farmers put alot of time and money into getting kids to hunt, fish, trap and spend their time outdoors. The state organiations spend thousands of $$ every year teaching and helping kids, helping wounded soldiers be able to hunt. So much good "on the other side of the fence" that most do not know (or talk) about.

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from djohns13 wrote 2 years 43 weeks ago

I think a 80 pound yearling doe taken legally is a better trophy than any of these bucks. They are cool to look at, but in so sense of the words are they a hunting trophy.

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from Ranchmanager wrote 2 years 42 weeks ago

Hunters are benefiting everywhere because of whitetail genetic improvement. Years ago it was protien fed deer and now the next level in genetics. Pen deer stack genetics for antler growth. Whitetail management programs are everywhere and the reason is to grow bigger antlered whitetails TOO SHOOT. It's the overall hunter demand that drives deer breeding as a form of whitetail management of the future. most photos in this article are of breeder bucks that are not for hunting but to breed to release offspring that have better antlers for hunters. High fences keep good genetics in and bad genetics out and that includes the disgruntled hunter genetics. See Ya

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from Ram1500 wrote 2 years 43 weeks ago

I prefer mother natures originals.

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from jsramsdell wrote 2 years 42 weeks ago

Why are some of you bashing Mr. Dougherty when he simply just gave us a story and his opinion? And in some instances of arguing against his opinion, you are comparing cattle, dogs, trout, etc. to deer bred for large antlers. It is sort of like comparing apples to oranges, they just don’t taste the same. And arguing about trying to get pee from a "wild" deer, maybe you should read the whole story because Dougherty stated that some people raise deer for other reasons besides growing monstrous antlers (scents, venison, etc.), which he isn’t against. He also never stated that "ALL" deer are bottle fed, instead he said "MOST," so there's no reason to call that a false statement! But all I can do is give my opinion, and I too would much rather be on the outside looking in. It is neat at times to see how large of antlers some deer can grow, but I am definitely much more proud and excited to HUNT a “wild” 130 inch 4x4 than I ever would be HARVESTING a “wild” pen-raised/captured 250 inch freak of breeding. So am I against this type of breeding? No! I just won’t praise this business venture.
P.S. For those of you calling names, saying he should visit a farm and become more informed, calling his article uneducated, etc., think about educating yourself again and return to 6th grade English to learn how to write. This would help give you credit when you are trying to prove a point.

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from Buck61 wrote 2 years 42 weeks ago

I, in no way, think that pen raised deer are a bad thing..but I DO agree that they should in NO WAY be associated with deer taken in the wild. Personally, it saddens me in that they undermine the old school trophies (150"+). People see these deer and think that a true trophy is small. I have a 175" buck I shot with my bow and at hunting shows it looks tiny compared to all the "pet deer". Shooting deer in your back yard does not translate to a trophy...no matter how big your yard is. That being said..if the only way you can shoot a monster buck is to pay 20 grand...go for it! After all, beauty is in the eye of the beholder..i guess that can translate to..A trophy is in the eye of the beholder..right guys?

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from deerman2000 wrote 2 years 40 weeks ago

Have any of you haters ever been to a deer farm? These people are the nicest people you will ever meet and they have a love for the animal.Every thing that you see on these "Freaks" heads are 100% natural without any steroids. Im a deer farmer and its one of the best investmens I have ever made. There is nothing better when you come home after a long days work and your bottle fed doe fawns come running up to you when you go in by them.

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from Saltwater4me wrote 2 years 43 weeks ago

Let's not cast stones in glass houses. I agree, some of the deer pictured have grown to crazy big sizes and don't even look like whitetails. All parts of the hunting industry have people on the extremes (baiters, paochers, night hunters, etc..). These people who are raising whitetails, for the most part, are people who truely love whitetail deer and just want to see them grow. Yes, that leads to bigger and bigger horns by selective breeding. Now down to the real facts...some like high fence hunting some don't, it is a matter of opinion. The deer farming industry contributes an unbelievable amount of money to deer research that would not be available otherwise. Like them or not these guys are paying millions in advertsiing and spending money to be at trade shows all over the country. If you don't like them, then don't go hunt there. At some point we better all get on the same team because people like HSUS and PETA would like nothing more than the hunting industry to be divided against itself. Another FACT - the anti high fence side must stop hiding behind disease as a issue. The has NEVER...NEVER been a case of CWD in a captive herd of whitetailed deer. It could happen tomorrow, but thankfully it hasn't happened yet. So far as ethics are concerned, this is where we are casting stones in glass houses. How about release quail hunts or pheasants hunts.... anybody picking on those guys?? To each his own.

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from deeradvocate wrote 2 years 43 weeks ago

Do you really think that a hunting operation could charge a lot of money to shoot a buck with an ear tag? These animals are released in large enclosures. 1000 acre+. These animals aren't just standing at the gate waiting on you to hand feed them. You have to hunt them! Often they are released and not seen again until next year. And to call these incredible buck Freaks sounds like pure jealousy! I cost a lot of money and attention to successfully breed a big buck, and all the breeders I know are very passionate about the health of there deer. They have to be if they are to be successful.

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from NotAHunter wrote 2 years 43 weeks ago

I'm not a hunter NOR a deer farmer. If anything...I'm closer to being a "tree hugger" of sorts. I can't stand back and let Craig and this grossly misinformed article go unchallenged nor you idiots who blither on how "great" Boone & Crockett is for taking a stand against high-fence operations. Granted in EVERY industry is a bad example that gets thrown in the spotlight as the "norm" but any high-quality preserve IS fair chase. Some of these preserves are larger than 3 sq miles (sometimes MUCH bigger in Texas) when a whitetail spends his time within 1 sq mile. If B&C is so "GREAT" than why is the illegally poached Dryden buck in the record books... or how about the MILO HANSON who chased his deer in his 4x4 for HOURS, even thru several fences, is in the record book. Wow... that is real sporting, eh?? I'm gonna go out on a limb and label the poor asshole who doesn't have money to hunt high-fence as the bugger that yells the loudest and somehow think it's sporting to hunt over a pile of corn or in a truck. Yo stupid sod...don't book a hunt to Africa....it's about 99% high-fence.

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from HuntersBetterUnite wrote 2 years 42 weeks ago

One last comment...and this always seems to put things in perspective for people. Everyone is familiar with 4-H. In 4-H, the kids pick a steer(s)(casturated male cow)every year. They halter break that steer, wash the steer, groom the steer. If they make it to the State Fair, that steer is so tame by then the kids can lay on them, sleep on them, pretty much do anything with them. And yes, this is from experience. At the end of the State Fair is a huge sale. They sell their steers. Where are these steers going? Not to someone's farm to be a pet, not to go back into the breeding program (they are casturated)...they are going on whatever buyer is there from whatever meat packing plant and heading to slaughter. I've personally led my steers onto that semi, but I still love steak! Doesn't matter if I buy it in the store or buy it from the local farmer. Its a business that pumps millions of $$ into the economy every year. Its a business that employs thousands of people. Its a business that uses idle land suitable for nothing else. Its a business that brings the family together doing something fun outside and its very rewarding with alot of fun things going on throughout the year. Its a new twist on the family farm that is slowly disappearing in this country.

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from vermontkyle wrote 2 years 42 weeks ago

Please. If anything Dougherty went easy on the antler pornographers. What about the ones who use hot irons to manipulate entlers when they are in velvet? The only reason high fence operations are even recognized by the outdoor industry is because of their ad dollars. I do not have a sub to Outdoor Life but will get one now knowing they tell it as it is.

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from Chaletaway wrote 2 years 43 weeks ago

Bet this buck has a great neck roast..

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from papajocu wrote 2 years 43 weeks ago

I have heard that "pen raised" deer are not allowed in the trophy books. Is this true? This isn't a trophy, its just weird.

I'll bet he feels better after the winter shed.

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from Ishi wrote 2 years 43 weeks ago

There will always be a market for these freak deer just like there will always be a market for male enhancement pills.

I agree with Craig. I am satisfied with my 100 incher.

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from HuntersBetterUnite wrote 2 years 42 weeks ago

One false statement that I would like comment on is that they are all bottlefed?? No..some are, mostly does and that is BECAUSE they are not domesticated and very hard to work if there isn't some calm ones to keep their heads on straight. Deer are dumb...not smart. They have instinct, but are not smart. Bucks are not bottle raised on most farms other than if necessary (abandoned) and these bucks are usually kept for conversation pieces and learning tools for kids and visitors. How many kids have felt the velvet of buck and knew that it was SO hot and how soft it was!! These animals are not desensitized. They have so much wild left in them that people are amazed...alot of tails is all alot of people see if one thing spooks them. They all have different personalities and even though you may bottlefeed a doe for 3 months, spend time with her several times a day...the day you wean her (depending on her personality) may be the last day you are ever that close to her. Don't judge if you don't know. Its very rewarding, fun and it is legal. Some people that don't have the chance to hunt free range have gotten the pleasure and thrill of hunting behind a fence. Wounded soldiers and the handicapped enjoy many free hunts from these "terrible" deer farmers and ranches every year. Those hunters may save your right to hunt someday if it is ever challenged! Otherwise, they may not have cared and didn't bother.

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from I8deer wrote 2 years 42 weeks ago

I just would like to say to all the hunters out here were do you think your deer scent comes from? I have lived in the country all my life hunting fishing and so on I have never seen any hunter in my area out in the woods holding a bottle under a doe so he can have some good deer scent

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from trapper vic wrote 2 years 42 weeks ago

Not everyone who likes to hunt has opportunity. Some of us are land owners with wild herds to manage and hunt. Many hunters travel miles to hunt on priviledged land. This not just a deer issue it is a hunting issue. We release pen raised pheasants and quail for youth hunts and paid hunts. Bottom line is, we are increasing the # of hunters. A teen who shoots his first pen raised bird will soon want to go to South Dakota for the real thing. Deer, morrell mushrooms. or birds they all taste the same wild or farmed. The antler issue can be argued as we see here!

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from Drew YoungeDyke wrote 2 years 42 weeks ago

Why do we hunt? Any part of our motivation which is derived from ego contributes to this practice. Do we hunt to challenge ourselves, or to brag to others? To fully experience and participate in the natural environment, or to decorate our living rooms? Is venison or herd health our first consideration when selecting prey, or is it B & C score? If we re-focus on core hunting values, there would be no market for this nonsense.

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from Keith in Texas wrote 2 years 42 weeks ago

I don't hear much complaining about shooting pen-raised pheasants, quail, chukar or mallards. I also don't think many people confuse such as real hunting. As long as there is a market for an item or a service, then their will be someone to provide it, so the real problem are not the ranchers who raise the deer, but the shooters who pay for the deer without reservation. Just as I wouldnt confuse shooting a pen raised pheasant on a shooting preserve with trudging across a muddy field in the panhandle of Texas, I am not going to mix up a big buck with a tag in its ear behind a ten foot fence with a free ranging wary whitetail. The only downside I can see is for the legitimate hunter who is saddled with the ever increasing market price of a deer lease or hunting land by ranchers and farmers rightfully and legitimately taking advantage of a beneficial economic situation when everything else in their field is going bust....

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from max klepper wrote 2 years 38 weeks ago

I'm not against the raising of these deer but they should not be comparative to that of a deer in nature. I personally enjoy seeing some of these bucks but it gets to a point where the antlers don't even look that great. I would much rather shoot a deer that doesn't walk up to me and start licking the tip of my arrow.

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from Gary Henson wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

I don't think this kind of operation should be allowed unless it is naturally occurring and I would not spend money to shoot one of these bucks and I would never do a (canned hunt)or for that matter "shoot" over a planted food plot. I do not think that it should be called hunting when you bait game and in my opinion planting food plots then shooting over them is baiting.

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from carrcarr wrote 2 years 43 weeks ago

So much of the information in this article is misleading and just simply not true I do not know where to start.How is breeding Whitetail deer any different from breeding cattle,sheep,hogs or even trout.Most states raise trout in hatching facilities and release into tail waters for anglers to catch.The trout will die if not caught!The released deer do great once released. By the way your picture of Gladiator is not Gladiator,I know he is in my deer pens you idiot.

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from Buck Chaser wrote 2 years 43 weeks ago

It looks like the deer in picture 2 are showing what they think of Craig's misinformed article. If a hunter, and yes they are hunters wants to hunt high fence than that is their rite as an American. If another hunter doesn't, than don't. These "deer breeders are wrong" wieners haven't a clue on what's involved in capital, time, sweat and blood in operating a deer breeding facility. They talk about the "big dollars" that a rare few number of deer bring. By the time you pay for the sky rocketing feed cost for 3-4 years, deer health care and handling I would challenge any of them to "show me the money". In most cases the breeder deer are treated better and with far more respect than any deer would be shown in the wild. Visit a breeder and them make an informed decision.

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from U.S. eh Champ wrote 2 years 42 weeks ago

Wow! I am really shocked at the amount of people who understand and support this. I find it disturbing and cruel. A kind of sick fascination of "how far can we push the envelope"? This certainly can't be about "helping" anything but the wallet. I am all for people making a living, but, this seems unconscionable. Just plain ugly.

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from That1guy wrote 2 years 42 weeks ago

Educated line breeding of whitetails is in no way any different than what takes place in the performance horse industry,breeding racing pigeons, or for that matter the manipulation of corn,soybeans or other vegetables. The main reason a large percentage of doe fawns in deer pens are bottle raised is to manage both health and stress management issues. As a deer farmer I do agree some folks have "gone over the top" with the antler type they have decided to breed for,but, this is their choice and I believe in the end the public demand will ultimately determine what it is "WE" as an industry should breed for. The deer industry will become not as much a "between breeders" influenced market,but, will evolve into a "hunter demand combined with venison consumer" agricultural endeavor. I wonder how many "anti-deer pen" hunters still stalk their targets with a handmade longbow and arrows or even a flintlock musket without the advantage of scent lock clothing, illuminated sights,and bullet drop compensating scopes? The problem I have with this article is the fact it tends to put a wedge in the hunting community that we do not need during a time in which outside pressure is already trying to remove the right to hunt from us! Let's stop arguing about a subject that in the end will be corrected by consumer demand and join forces to unite against a common enemy we both have the"anti-hunting party" who would prefer that both sides of this issue lose! Remember that if we all liked the same thing there would only be vanilla ice cream.

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from warriorclass99 wrote 2 years 42 weeks ago

This is all part of the industrial age of hunting. I am all for fare chase and in the wild hunts. This article makes me think that hunting is no longer about those things. From growing up in the wonderful Mountains of the Blue Ridge I can say seeing any buck in the wild no matter the size is better than seeing 100 bucks in a pen. Bucks that big are no good to eat anyway. I have always said you cant eat the horns.

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from bears3b6 wrote 2 years 38 weeks ago

this is sick how many people actually agree with this fenced in hunting crap. should be ashamed to even call yourself a hunter if you agree with shooting a deer that is used to humans. i dont mind the whole business aspect of it raising the deer to sell their urine or antlers but in no circumstances should they ever be hunted. do it like the rest of us and put your time in scouting and being with family and friends cause that is what hunting is actually all about. it should never be about just going out to shoot a boone and crocket size deer. there is way more to hunting than just getting a big one and i think too many hunters have been too wrapped up in shooting a monster instead of actually enjoying the sport.

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from armyhunter wrote 2 years 37 weeks ago

My thooughts:
The only differences between deer farming and putting in food plots and naming deer from trail cameras is; the deer farmers call themselves deer farmers. The "hunters" that do everything they can to controll breeding, imporve the herd and feed deer suppliments to grow bigger antlers are the ones that are disillusioned and throwing stones in glass houses.
What if the B&C and P&Y clubs look at the deer shot over man made food plots also. How about not letting them in the record books either.
Would I ever hunt/shoot one of these deer? Not a chance. For one I couldnt afford to and two, most importantly the half rack 5pt I shot on public property in PA is a lot bigger trophy to me than one of those deer.

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from Salladthewhitet... wrote 2 years 36 weeks ago

that is just plain sick

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from IND_NRA wrote 2 years 20 weeks ago

The only thing bigger then these antlers is the EGO's that they cause.

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from wtgallery wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

Although I would never spend that type of money to kill a huge buck I do support other peoples rights to do so. We live in a free country and if people are willing to pay for this then people are going to farm and create these monster bucks. I am a meat hunter and typically only shoot doe every year. I have not fallen into the realm of being an antler hunter.

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from jharri1234 wrote 44 weeks 6 days ago

Personally I do NOT think breeding Trophy Bucks is ethical. Where is the sport in hunting a deer that literally cannot move through the woods, jump a fence or even raise its head to look for danger because of the FREAK antlers these animals are engineered to wear.
What kind of hunter wants to hunt a DNA altered deer. Wow, you shot a 5000 Boone and Crocket deer.............. that would mean nothing to me or any true sportsman. Now lets put them in a pen (high game fence) and tie a bell around its neck, while you are at it, why not put a red and white "Bulls Eye" on the deer as well.
This is a "sport" and NOT a collection of FREAKS. I am sure that someone will always come up with a bigger and better DNA to inject for the next FREAK but why? Please STOP and leave this sport to nature and not the money grubbing Labs trying to turn a great outdoor experience into another day at the Laboratory.

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from Dr. Killdeer wrote 43 weeks 4 days ago

First, we should not be surprised. When science meets enterprise, this is what we get. But fishing genetically altered freaks in fishbowl isn't really fishing, is it? These aren't really deer, but more importantly, those aren't really hunters. Both are freaks.

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from papajocu wrote 2 years 43 weeks ago

To correct my own posting: Hats off to Tony Schoonen of the Boone & Crockett Club and to Kevin Hisey, Executive Secretary of Pope and Young for refusing to recognize the "barrel hunt" deer.
I could see deer being raised for meat and some things but not trophy antlers.
To me, you might as well be using epoxy to glue antlers together.

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from Mark Orlicky wrote 2 years 43 weeks ago

Some of these deer are positively disgusting. The idea that "sportsmen" would "hunt" one of them and try to enter the buck into the record books really says something, doesn't it?
Yet... these freaks will continue to be produced as long as there's a market for them. Boone & Crockett and Pope & Young are doing their part by refusing to recognize these freaks. The rest of us should follow that example. Fair chase, no pen raised animals, ... and showing the animal some respect.

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from deeradvocate wrote 2 years 43 weeks ago

Breeding deer in a controlled environment where they are feed well, medicated if sick, and safe from predators for years then shoot for a quick death is humane! Most deer in the wild die of disease, starvation, or predators. For farmers to provide pen raised healthy deer to a hunting preserves to be shoot so that it does not affect the wild population than I say good for them. And FYI if you tranquilize a doe then try to AI her your wasting the semen! They are ran through something similar to a cattle shoot.

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from I8deer wrote 2 years 43 weeks ago

Maybe Craig should know facts before he writes.
I have visited a few deer farms in my business and the buck fawns are not tame for only the does are bottle fed maybe you should not judge these farms till you visit one first second you should ask your publisher were he gets his deer photos for the magazine.

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from venisonator wrote 2 years 43 weeks ago

It should be shameful for anyone to shoot these freaks and an even bigger shame to view their mounts.

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from NMTrapper wrote 2 years 43 weeks ago

All domesticated animals were wild at one time and many today do not look any thing like their wild ancestors. To say that it is wrong for us to domesticate a new species today and alter it's characteristics is like the antis saying it is wrong for us to trap or hunt or fish because we are so much more enlighted now than when we were in our primitive state.

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from Tater wrote 2 years 43 weeks ago

Im a Hunter, a Fisherman, a Sportsman, and A proud Deer Farmer! The statements made above are opinions of the author and do not represent our industry. I encourage you all to visit a deer farm or hunting operation, talk to a deer farmer first hand. Understand what we do and why. You will find a Hunter, a Fisherman, a Sportsman in them all.

I will be terminating my subscription to Outdoor Life do to the misleading, uneducated, and blasphemous comments stated in the article above!

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from I8deer wrote 2 years 42 weeks ago

One last thing all dogs must stop being raised by humans they need to go back to the wild must be all that inbreeding that got all the different types of dogs

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from Tater wrote 2 years 42 weeks ago

Lets talk about Farming for Antlers.

As private land owners or hunting clubs is that not what we try to do. We spend thousands of dollars a year in food plots, feeders, and other management systems. Do we not every year control breeding rights by shooting an killing inferior stock so that older more mature bucks have less competition and keeping our shooting off small percentages of doe to keep the doe to buck ratio in check thus trying to control mother nature and the out come of our property and the deer herd that you manage. When we as hunters by products for deer what do we look for. ANTLER GROWTH! Throwing stones at a glass house!

Lets talk about all the benefits that come from raising deer. Like those food plots you plant every year. The research for these products are done on a deer farm ( Whitetail Institute). The bagged feed that you put into feeders, comes from research provided from deer farms. We are apart of the landscape of hunting weather it is approved of or not.As hunters you use our products and benefit from our research but you still want to sit back and condemn our industry.Its hypercritical!

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from Scott Hall wrote 2 years 32 weeks ago

While these deer are great to look at, I would never consider shooting one of them in a high fenced enclosure a real "hunt". I respect the right of the deer farmer to engage in a legal form of agriculture and thus provide for his family in the way he/she sees fit, however I do not believe that any of these bucks, however beautiful I personally think they are, should be included in any record book along with a legally harvested, wild 170 inch whitetail. Just my thoughts.

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from Deerhunter25 wrote 2 years 30 weeks ago

Those are cool to look at, but hunting is getting out to get a NATURAL sized deer. However, if a deer gets that size with no artificial breeding or diet I think it is fair game. Due to te fact that it is natural.

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from David Meow wrote 43 weeks 4 days ago

There's nothing wrong with breeding deer. There is also nothing wrong with people who want to go out an experience the equivalent to a cow shoot, which is exactly what this is. There is also nothing wrong with actual hunters who call out the people who go on these shoots just to collect another piece of furniture what they actually are. Why not just skip the middle man and buy your 200 inch straight off of ebay like you would a TV? Sad.

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from Chaletaway wrote 2 years 43 weeks ago

Too bad they are not natural though. I really frown on the weirdos that let these freaks grow.
My 2p

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from sbemke wrote 2 years 43 weeks ago

Wow, looks like a lot of the local pet deer farmers e-mailed each other when they sauce this article, trying to defend their insult to hunters of a business. I would like to see a poll of how many hunters out there support these operations. I will bet my hunting privileges that vast majority of hunters do not support this. What kind of person truly pays $20,000 to kill a deer someone grew for them? I can't believe the amount of BS I am hearing these people spew in support of these operations. Where is the pride, character and resilience that goes into hunting a truly wary and wild deer that you earned trough hard work, instead of shooting a deer that has a price tag dangling from it antlers. How can any true spirited hunter be for something as gross and insulting as the operations. How do you pull the trigger with any sense of self-respect knowing you are shooting a deer that was grown artificially. And to read some arguments above how the artificial deer live longer and better lives than deer in the wild??? No kidding. Since when did anyone say Mother Nature was kind. It's called the cycle of life. Animals live and die so others can do the same. That's how it's suppose to be. I could go on and on, but listening to the support of this is disgraceful. The only one I can tell that support this on this site are the deer farmers themselves.

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from HuntersBetterUnite wrote 2 years 42 weeks ago

One last comment...and this always seems to put things in perspective for people. Everyone is familiar with 4-H. In 4-H, the kids pick a steer(s)(casturated male cow)every year. They halter break that steer, wash the steer, groom the steer. If they make it to the State Fair, that steer is so tame by then the kids can lay on them, sleep on them, pretty much do anything with them. And yes, this is from experience. At the end of the State Fair is a huge sale. They sell their steers. Where are these steers going? Not to someone's farm to be a pet, not to go back into the breeding program (they are casturated)...they are going on whatever buyer is there from whatever meat packing plant and heading to slaughter. I've personally led my steers onto that semi, but I still love steak! Doesn't matter if I buy it in the store or buy it from the local farmer. Its a business that pumps millions of $$ into the economy every year. Its a business that employs thousands of people. Its a business that uses idle land suitable for nothing else. Its a business that brings the family together doing something fun outside and its very rewarding with alot of fun things going on throughout the year. Its a new twist on the family farm that is slowly disappearing in this country.

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from 6phunter wrote 2 years 42 weeks ago

INTERESTING SUBJECT""" AWESOME BUCKS NO MATTER WHETHER I AGREE OR NOT. PROS AND CONS TO BOTH SIDES OF THE FENCE, MY OBJECTION IS DO OR SHOULD WE HAVE THE RIGHT TO RESTRICT WHAT ANOTHER MAN MAY DESRIE ?

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from Vince0331 wrote 2 years 16 weeks ago

Think of it this way my grandpa use to tell me about ten points or even the double rack twelve that someone killed on his back forty that were the once in a lifetime bucks but know you watch tv and they would consider a wide 8 a dissapiont my greatest trophy was the first deer I killed a little barley leagal spike I was 8 years old and i have kill many deer but that is the only one that still hangs proudly in the shed it is so much the deer as it is the meories created on the hunt being with famliy and friends or just being out in gods great outdoors

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from highandwide wrote 1 year 44 weeks ago

CWD started with penned wild animals. States and wildlife managers need to seriously look at these farms and make a plan that will allow the farmer to support himself but will also put an end to this type of farming.

How do you do that?
1) New farms of this type need to be illegal.
2) Selling or transferring the farm should also be illegal.
3) The goal of putting an end to penned wild animals needs to be considered and thought out in any related legislation.

I get that fact that many people's livelihoods are tied to this business, but that doesn't mean this type of business needs to exist forever. We need to protect our natural resources!!

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from Fishin Magician wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

THIS ARTICLE HAS BEEN UP FOR OVER A YEAR ???
ANYWAY .....WEIRD LOOKIN BUCK.....I WOULDN'T WANT THAT SILLY LOOKIN THING UP ON MY WALL....I'LL TAKE A BACK STRAP TO THE PAN THOUGH....

FM

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from JammieMcPherson wrote 1 year 32 weeks ago

Wow....

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from speakertocrappie wrote 43 weeks 5 days ago

What is so special about deer that we shouldn't manipulate them?
Eat turkey? Bred so big they can't reproduce without help.
Sheep used to not have anything but scraggly bits of hair.
Potatoes used to be poisonous.
Like to show off your yorkie-poodle mix?

Hypocrits, all of you.

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from Susybeast wrote 2 years 43 weeks ago

This practice has the same basis as most of the ugly and disgusting things in our society. . . GREED!

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from schwings wrote 2 years 43 weeks ago

Do they take the tags out of their ears before or after they are shot? Makes me sick!

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from prairieghost wrote 2 years 43 weeks ago

here's an idea.
require the deer "farmers" to release 50% of all doe fawns sired by these freaks into the wild.
the genetics would be diluted into a wild population but still give some real hunters a shot at a wonder-buck in the wild.

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from Jnelson64 wrote 2 years 42 weeks ago

What disgusts me is how they claim these are bettering the management of whitetail...by bottle feeding these deer, they are desensitizing them to humans and more importantly predators. these deer wouldnt last in the wild...so why bother? i can understand the money side of it or the fact you want a huge a$$ deer on the wall. but to say its bettering the wild herds is hard for me to digest. if anything it would ruin our current native herds and wreck the natural selection that takes place in the real world. for me im one of the guys on the outside of the fence, tho i understand everyone has their right to do this...for me personally i couldnt morally hunt one of them. if you can more power to ya i guess

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from pullinandeer wrote 2 years 42 weeks ago

I would like to start off by saying that this "journalist" obviously did not do any homework on the subject. He went to the first website he found and went off of what it said. he has OBVIOUSLY NEVER visited a deer farm or hunting preserve. I personally have to become more educated with the industry, and trust me it is nothing like he says it is. I will guarantee that these "freak bucks" as he calls them, are treated with more care and respect than some people give to their own children. I understand that some people dont like high fenced hunting, and that is fine with me, but dont go bashing until you know the whole story. I believe it would be very appreciated if the person would go out, visit farms, and do the homework on the farms and also get his dollar figures correct, and re-write the story. I always thought this site was about outdoor life, not bashing the outdoor life and those who support it.

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from bears3b6 wrote 2 years 36 weeks ago

man made food plots are nothing similar to this. if your willing to put in the time and effort to make them your just creating a place deer want to be. is that not what you look for when scouting a new piece of property? places where deer will be. people are rediculous trying to say deer farming for hunting is ok. just be 100% fair chase

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from FluffySmith wrote 2 years 12 weeks ago

I think that farm raised deer should only be used to create scents and petting farms for kids. Inbreeding them and using only grain and bottle feeding them is not what I call 100% natural breeding. I believe using food plots and scouting cameras is nothing like deer farming cuz the deer are still wild and huntin them is still a challenge to the hunter and gives the deer his wild senses to protect himself in the wild.

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