Abstract

Title:  Farming and ranching of cervids in North America.
Author(s): Demarais, S.
Year: 1994
Abstract: Commercialization of native and exotic big game has generated "biopolitical" controversy throughout North America. This commercialization goes well beyond the fee access to hunting opportunities that has widespread acceptance throughout the Southeast. This controversy involves the private ownership and relocation of native and exotic big game for commercial husbandry. Often, it pits the private sector, eager to diversify its agricultural base, against traditional sportsmen and government agencies concerned about impacts on native, free-ranging cervids. I will describe the characteristics of farming and ranching of big game relative to specific aspects of the controversy. There are two important dichotomies involved in this controversy: the management system - farming versus ranching; and the type of animal system - native versus exotic species. Farming is a capital and labor intensive system that typically involves small acreages, agronomic crops planted as forage, high animal stocking rates, and facilities and animal natures that are conducive to seasonal handling. Ranching is an extensive system that typically involves large acreages, native range, lower stocking rates, and minimal handling of animals. Native big game species are commercialized in Western Canada and some U.S. states, where regulatory agencies want to restrict access by exotic species. Exotic big game species are commercialized in other U.S. states, where regulatory agencies want to restrict access to native species.

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