Raising Whitetail Deer In Pennsylvania

September 29, 2011 09:15 AM

Shared by Jason Pollock, Riverview Whitetails, Inc., Parker, Pa.

I have been raising whitetail deer for only three years. For those of you who don't know anything about raising whitetail deer, let me tell you a little bit about it. Raising deer is fun and work.

A Day in Ag logoStarting around the end of September, we give all the deer their shots. They include wormer, vitamin, antibiotics—seven in all. Then around the end of October, we get the doe ready to breed. We artificially breed the deer, so we bring them into estrus.

Around the first of November, we breed them. You can do it a few different ways: AI, Lap AI, or use a buck. AI is done vaginally and Lap AI is done by putting the deer to sleep and turning them on their backs. A vet then makes two incisions in the stomach and uses a laparoscope on one side and drops the semen on the eggs on the other.

We cut all the bucks' antlers off in the fall so they don't injure any of the other deer in the pen. In the spring, around mid-May, we have fawns. We bottle-feed all fawns, not because the moms' milk is no good but because it makes the deer calmer to handle. Mom's milk is best. We pull hair and run DNA on all fawns. All fawns get shots for toxins, wormer, antibiotics and a tube of colostrum. We bottle-feed four times a day: 6 a.m., noon, 5 p.m., 10 p.m. Eventually, we wean them around 12 weeks.

  • Fence must be at least 8' high in Pennsylvania and is regulated by the ag department
  • I give alfalfa hay in winter
  • The deer get grain all year long
  • Farm-raised deer can score up to 500" or more
  • I have shelters for all my deer
  • Semen for deer can cost anywhere from $500 to $10,000 or more; it depends on what you can afford





fawns in a row


fawns along fence

buck barn


velvet buck

grown buck

grown buck2

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Rhianna Hawk
Tuscumbia, AL
9/27/2018 11:06 AM

  Thank you so much for going into detail on how to set up the pens for whitetails; I was having trouble finding specifications for it online. My husband and I want to start breeding some deer for hunting, and knowing that the fence needs to be at least 8' high is really important. We'll be sure to install some shelters as well, as you suggest. https://ssgamefence.com/construction/

Jason Pollock
Parker, PA
11/6/2018 01:33 PM

  If you live in Pa you need to have a permit. Best way to go about raising deer is to contact the Pa At Dept. Mary Martin. She.can give you all the ins and outs. You will need to be tested for cwd, brucolosis and tb to be fully certified. The Bag Dept can elaborate on that.

Robin Hess
Schuylkill Haven, PA
6/5/2018 04:46 PM

  I live in PA in Schuylkill county and would like to own deer. I can't find any information on the requirements of fencing and an application to get a permit. I found a place to purchase a fawn. I was wondering if I could purchase a fawn before a fence was built and a permit was obtained. Any help on how I need to proceed would be greatly appreciated. Thank you