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Any Elk Ranchers here?  

DeweysMom
Prominent Member Pats Friends

Wow, this ruminants section looks pretty dead - not much recent activity - but I'll give it a try anyhow.

I've been researching raising elk for commercial market, and it looks like it's a relatively low-labor intensive thing. Looking to supplement our retirement years with a little bit of cash, but not have to work quite as hard as we are now, with full-time jobs.

Both husband and I grew up on farms, and pretty much have been in the ag business in one way or another throughout our lives, so we're used to dealing with animals, both large and small. I'd like to pick the brain of someone who's already in the business, get their thoughts on it, find out more details on the lifestyle and if it's truly an emerging and financially successful business opportunity.

No one in our area raises elk - the closest ranch is several hours away. We're located close to major metropolitan areas where we could market our products, and there's plenty of local restaurants who are providing 'farm-to-table' menus in our area, too, so I really think it might be a good fit for us. We've got the land, now all we need is the proper fencing, some breeding stock and someone to buy our products. :icon-wink:

Anyone out there who has any experience in elk ranching?
Thanks!

Dana

2 Dogs - a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, & an Australian Shepherd; 3 Cats; 2 horses, 1 mule; One very spoiled raccoon and the love of my life, Dewey James, and the recently added but much adored, Bobby Lee, brother raccoon to Dewey

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Topic starter Posted : March 22, 2017 12:20 pm
TamanduaGirl
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Well you'll need a permit to posses and raise them. Could be hard to get in your state. Even here it is. Most states make it hard for "deer type" animals. That would be the biggest hurdle. Can't really answer your questions though. The elk stake at the restaurant when we went for my birthday was the most expensive thing there but still wasn't too bad. Trying to buy any online though looks like pretty expensive meat so would seem there is a decent market for it.

Would be cool if you do get a lurking elk farmer to reply. I'd love to hear about keeping elk.

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Posted : March 22, 2017 12:36 pm
DeweysMom
Prominent Member Pats Friends

Not sure about the permit thing. ?? If the elk come from another ranch facility and domestically raised, it's not like we'd be getting them from the wild. But could possibly still need a permit, yes, I'll agree on that. (On a side note, PA re-introduced elk to the northern part of the state years ago, and they're doing well enough now that limited hunting permits are sold each year.)

There are several elk ranches in PA, so I guess I could reach out to them and inquire. But some folks don't really want to be bothered by questions - unless they know someone is buying breeding stock from them. :wall:

What I like about elk, besides the meat, there is quite the market for durn near everything else from them: hooves, antlers, hides, etc. Very little is not saleable.

TG, if you'd like more info, I found this to be quite insightful. http://www.naelk.org/why_raise_elk.cfm

Dana

2 Dogs - a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, & an Australian Shepherd; 3 Cats; 2 horses, 1 mule; One very spoiled raccoon and the love of my life, Dewey James, and the recently added but much adored, Bobby Lee, brother raccoon to Dewey

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Topic starter Posted : March 22, 2017 12:43 pm
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