Whitetail and Exotic Breeding – Part 2
This post has a part 1 to it that gives a great introduction to our breeding program, if you still haven’t – check it out: Whitetail and Exotic Breeding – Part 1!
We decided to buy our bred does from Lonehollow Whitetails. They are a deer breeder that has been in the business for 15+ years with the type of genetics we wanted to raise. They are the owners of Gladiator and many other of the industry top producing bucks. Gladiator has the most DNA certified offspring of any breeder deer in the industry. He is over 14 years old and still alive. He is also pure South Texas genetics. Those are the kinds of genetics we were looking for in our deer. To me, it says, it is a hardy line and proven producers.
Now that we have decided what deer we are going to buy, we need a facility to raise these deer. Ox Ranch Genetics was a completely raw piece of land when we purchased the ranch. I started the clearing of the land and building of new breeder pens the first of February. Starting from scratch, we were able to build the pens just the way we wanted them for the best possible layout and function we could design. We are building ¾ acre pens that are triangle shaped all opening to alley ways leading to our new deer barn. We will be artificially inseminating some of our very best does each year to introduce new genetics. With the new problems with CWD, we do not intend on ever bringing in another live deer into our program. Why take the risk? When you can introduce new bloodlines through artificial insemination. For that, we are building a state of the art deer barn capable of handling deer with very little stress to the deer. These deer will receive the very best care and handling to insure their safety and passing on their genetics to future generations.
You may be asking what does this scientific breeding operation have to do with a hunting ranch? Our goal is to replace the genetics on the main ranch with the deer produced in our new breeder program. This way we can control the genetics of the does and bucks released on the ranch each year. These deer will be released and allowed to repopulate the ranch with much better genetics. They will breed and grow on the ranch the same way as the current wild population. We however will be able to make improvements in the quality of deer antler and body size over the next 5 years that would take decades to do otherwise. All of the offspring from Ox Ranch Genetics will be released onto the 18,000 acres to continually improve the genetics of the wild deer harvested by our hunters. And our focus will be as much on the female side as it will be on the bucks. It takes good does with large body size to produce trophy offspring on a regular basis.
Pic: attractive buck and doe in a natural setting
We will harvest mature bucks and does each year on the OX Ranch keeping the buck to doe ratio as close to 1 to 1 as we can. And also keep the deer numbers at the proper carrying capacity for the habitat on the ranch. Every year releasing new genetics from OX Ranch Genetics continuing to improve the deer herd.
Now, I will get more in depth on some of the business decisions and design of setting up a new deer breeding facility.
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