North Carolina Deer & Elk Farmers Association
An association ensuring the future of whitetail deer, elk, and other cervidae farming within our state


What are cervids?

Cervids are all members of the deer family. This includes elk, moose, and all breeds of deer. Male elk and deer grow and shed antlers every year.

Why do people raise elk and deer?

Farmed elk and deer are viable industries in Kansas and dozens of states across the nation. Farmed elk and deer have been in Kansas since the 1980's. The KCBA has members that raise cervids for many purposes utilizing markets or companionship.

What are the markets?

There are several markets for elk and deer breeders to utilize.
Breeding Stock - There is a high demand for quality breeding stock for elk and whitetail deer that have quality genetics. Private sales are common between breeders, however there are also regular select auctions that bring high prices for cervids with proven pedigrees.
Artificial Insemination - There is a high demand for quality semen of proven bucks and elk bulls. Semen prices per straw for elk and deer range from $100-$4,000 for quality sires that are proven to pass on strong antler genetics.
Velvet Antler - There is a strong market for elk velvet antler. Velvet antler is the early stage of the antlers that grows every spring and summer. Velvet is harvested and collected to make medicines that are commonly found in arthritis remedies. Males re-grow antlers every year making this a renewable source.
Trophy Animals - Some elk bulls and bucks are grown and sold to trophy ranches where they may be hunted by hunting clients. Many hunters will spend several days at a "fair-chase" ranch to find a quality elk or buck to hunt. Trophy ranches range in size from several hundred to several thousand acres.
Meat - There is a high demand for elk and deer venison making the meat market very profitable. Most recently, the demand for elk meat has greatly ascended due to its advantages over other types of meat. Elk is low in fat, low in cholesterol and high in protein. Today, many restaurants feature elk burgers or steaks on their menus.
Antler Art - Sheds of antler are often used to make furniture such as coffee tables, end tables and chandeliers.

Who regulates farmed elk and deer?

Farmed cervids are under the jurisdiction of the Kansas Department of Agriculture's Animal Health Division. This has been in effect since 1993 when the original domestic deer language passed the Legislature. (KSA 47-2101)

What kinds of elk and deer are raised in Kansas?

There are several different breeds of deer that are raised on cervid ranches in the state. Elk and Whitetail Deer are the most common cervids raised. Other common breeds of deer include Fallow Deer, Sika Deer and Red Deer.

How do you handle cervids?

Any person that has land to raise elk or deer may do so by constructing the correct type of facilities. Facilities must have 8' high-tensile wire fence used as perimeter fences due to the nature of their ability to jump. Gates and alleyways are commonly used to move animals. Elk and deer can be hauled to new places by an enclosed stock trailer.

How do you care for cervids?

Cervids are usually wormed two to four times a year. Elk and deer are feed corn, grain, or a deer pellet purchased at a local feed supply. All animals must have two forms of identification. Many animals are DNA matched to sire and dam.

Are elk and deer prone to disease?

  • Elk and deer are a hearty livestock with an natural immunity to most diseases. Although they can contract normal bovine diseases, they are not prone to do so.
  • Most breeders practice a vaccination program along with routine worming.
  • Most herds are regularly tested and monitored for TB and Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD).
  • CWD is a prion disease that affects members of the cervid family. CWD has never been proven to affect humans. Most cervid farms are involved in some type of monitoring program that ensures when an cervid dies it can be checked for CWD. CWD is very rare, with an infection rate of less than 0.002%.
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