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

Getting Started

Deer and Elk farming is one of the most diverse animal industries that can provide something for all types of interests. Our farmers are in the business for the love of the animals, diversification, profit and/or a hobby. Many of our members raise deer and elk full time and many raise them as a side business.

The North Carolina Deer and Elk Farmers Association and its affiliated national associations would like to help any prospective deer and/or elk farmer get started.
Here are a few tips:

  • Plan before you begin.
  • Contact the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and NCWRC to ensure you know all the requirements for raising elk and deer. Farmed elk and deer can be raised in all counties of North Carolina.
  • Visit local deer and elk ranches to receive feedback and advice on facilities and herd management. The directory can be found on the NCDEFA Website.
  • Shop around for feed and fence equipment.
  • Purchase your stock from reputable farmers and ranchers.
  • Set up a recordkeeping system to account for expenses and animal records.
  • Always factor in professionalism in your operation and marketing plan. Deer and elk are unique operations that will give you attention in your local area. Think about public perception and what they see when you develop your farm. Be the example of a quality and ethical operation.
  • Join the North Carolina Deer and Elk Farmers Association to learn the latest industry news, tips and market information.

In addition to the NCDEFA, there are several national associations that can help you get started:

The North American Deer Farmers Association can assist with any cervid species and the follow list can also assist in any questions

Elk - North American Elk Breeders Association & North American Deer Farmers Association

Whitetail Deer - North American Deer Farmers Association & Deer Breeders Corporation

Axis Deer - Exotic Wildlife Association & North American Deer Farmers Association

Barasingha Deer - Exotic Wildlife Association

Fallow Deer - Exotic Wildlife Association & North American Deer Farmers Association

Mule Deer - North American Deer Farmers Association

Pere David Deer - Exotic Wildlife Association

Red Deer - North American Deer Farmers Association & Exotic Wildlife Association

Reindeer - Reindeer Owners & Breeders Association & North American Deer Farmers Association

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