The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

April 1, 2014

Game breeding turns into big business in Alabama

— PRATTVILLE, Ala. (AP) — Nationally, commercial game breeding has grown into a multibillion-dollar business as producers have discovered there are big bucks in big bucks.

The game breeders are out to produce deer and elk with larger body weights and massive antlers. The animals are shipped across the country for breeding, much like prized livestock. Some of the animals are sold to preserves and hunting lodges and turned loose for hunters to pursue, after they have dug deep in their wallets, sometimes to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars.

The practice does come with concerns — the spread of disease and ethical questions among them. Most preserves are bordered by high fences, which keep the valuable animals inside the enclosure. Even if several thousand acres are in the enclosed area, it raises fair chase concerns for some hunters.

"It doesn't sound much like hunting to me," said Richard Smith, a Prattville deer hunter. "You go to a lodge, look at pictures of deer and pick out which one you want and then plunk down your money. Then you go to where that deer is and shoot it.

"That's shooting; that's not hunting."

There are 204 licensed game farms in Alabama, and they operate under strict state guidelines. It is illegal to import game animals into the state, said Mark Rouleau, assistant chief for the law enforcement arm of the Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. The farms can export the animals, with the practice being controlled by game laws in the receiving states, he said.

Each game breeding location is inspected twice a year by the state, Rouleau said. If they want to move an animal within the state or to another state, a permit is required. If an animal dies at a breeding facility, the breeder must pay for a necropsy to be performed by a state approved lab.

Text Only
State and Nation


Do you believe America will ever make another manned flight to the moon or another planet?

     View Results
AP Video
Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive In Case of Fire, Oxygen Masks for Pets Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites Anti-violence Advocate Killed, but Not Silenced. Dempsey: Putin May Light Fire and Lose Control Arizona Prison Chief: Execution Wasn't Botched Calif. Police Investigate Peacock Shooting Death Raw: Protesters, Soldiers Clash in West Bank Police: Doctor Who Shot Gunman 'Saved Lives' 'Modern Family' Star on Gay Athletes Coming Out MN Twins Debut Beer Vending Machine DA: Pa. Doctor Fired Back at Hospital Gunman Raw: Iowa Police Dash Cam Shows Wild Chase
Twitter Updates
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Business Marquee