“I call them they come up for their shell corn.”
Raising deer is a business he calls…“Exciting. It’s fun. They're beautiful animals and they taste really good.”
Shawn Schaefer has a deer ranch in North Dakota and he’s also head of the North American Deer Farmers Association. He says more and more people are realizing how good venison is. Demand for it is growing, far outstripping U.S. supplies. Most of the venison consumed in the U.S. actually comes from New Zealand. And he says even though small amounts of U.S. venison are showing up in a few U.S. supermarkets… “most of the product is being consumed in the white table cloth restaurants” But the products of deer go beyond just some good cuts of venison.
“Lot of guys will realize that when you're at that local gas station and you're paying your bill. And that box of beef jerky next to cash register, venison jerky, well that comes from us. You know that can't come from the wild. You can't go shoot a deer in the wild and sell that meat. So any venison, any jerky you buy originated in the farm industry.
Sean Schaefer says he's hoping U.S. production will eventually increase enough to bring more venison to supermarkets, bring the price down too. He says at the moment the deer raising industry is still very small but Vermont deer farmer Hank de Museo says small or large… “It's a great industry I love it wouldn't do anything else.”