They are, but their meat isn’t in as high demand and they’re more expensive and difficult to manage than cows, sheep and pigs. Pigs are an easy one, they grow fast, do well in sheds, eat most of anything and don’t require a lot, cows and sheep are herd animals, easy to muster and relatively easy to fence while growing large and meaty fast. Deer are more difficult to muster, running faster and more prone to splitting up, they can also jump high requiring taller and more expensive fencing.


Deer also have such a strong instinct for survival, they will literally break their own necks trying to escape. Thanks CGPGrey Edit: Got the name wrong.


Yeah, there are lots of answers here, but from my experience living in the country, the actual reason is that they have fragile bodies and they are stupid as FUCK. Those things combined make keeping them in captivity obnoxious.


Fragile, but GIGANTIC bodies. I grew up in Bucks County, PA. Everyone who drives there has hit at least one deer. A lot of cars totaled that way.


It’s Bucks’ County, we just live here


So it’s not just a creative name?


[The county is named after the English county of Buckinghamshire or more precisely, its abbreviation.](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bucks_County,_Pennsylvania) I’m a transplant to Philly so I had to check it out, here’s the link for anyone interested in Bucks County


If you build it They will Come


>Bucks County In surprised it's not Bucks Shire then, I thought it was named after a person myself.


The only sympathy you find in Bucks County is between shit and syphilis in the dictionary.


Had an old chemistry teacher in highschool that used that phrase but with the word sorry. He was quite the cowboy


I'm in North Carolina, and one night I hit two deer within 30 minutes. If you hit a deer, you'll have a fear of another running out in front of you at any moment. You don't expect it to actually happen. It's just an irrational fea... OH SHIT!


Yeah I saw a few crossing in Vermont one night, and I’ve heard that so I slowed way down. And then bam! One ran right into my driver side door. It was ok though just kept running. Was gone when I got out to look. Must’ve been a small one. Didn’t even dent the door that bad


What’s fun is telling people about it later. “So a deer hit my car.” “You hit a deer? How bad is the damage?” “No no no. The *deer* ran into *my* car. I was just sitting there.”


Used to work in auto claims and would get this scenario often. One of my funniest (and favorite) claims was a deer hitting a dude’s boat. Was a bit confused how the heck that happened until I realized the boat was in tow. Deer will run into anything it seems.


My fiance's car is all dented because a pronghorn got him. He was in rush hour and this thing was just like, fuck this car specifically.


>this thing was just like, fuck this car specifically. Ah, you made my laugh. Thx for that.


This happened to a friend when we were in 6th grade. Deer put its antlers through the door of his mom's Audi. She laminated the insurance statements because it was hilarious after everything was fixed.


Yeah. I've hit 1 deer. I've been hit ny 4. When they hit the rear quarter panel it's their own fault. Yes, I was going forwards


My first deer accident was caused by a large doe jumping off of a high (5 ft or so) bank, across a ditch, and faceplanting directly into the passenger-side headlight of my Ford Focus while I was going about 60Mph. Then the body whipped around, split the fender in two, and crushed the door in.


Deers invented the insurance scam. My father managed to stop his car before hitting one and after it didn't move he flashed his lights a fews time. It took a moment but after honking, it flipped out and jumped/tripped all over his hood and smashed his windshield in the process. So the deer ended up hitting him anyway.


My dad had a similar experience except the deer ran off into the woods after the honking and lights flashing. So he started to drive away. ...Then it came flying back full sprint and slammed into his door so hard it broke its own neck.


I grew up in upstate New York. My parents got a deer while driving a little Fiat (with me asleep in the back seat as a two year old). Totaled the car. Happened again about two years later. At one point my mom became an EMT in the volunteer ambulance squad and got regular calls for car vs deer accidents. One upside though is that at least in NY State you can keep the deer for meat if you kill it with your car.


I've split the goalposts SO many times driving at night in Texas. One deer in one lane, another in another lane.


Happened to one of my exes the night she broke up with me. 2 deer, back to back. I took it as a sign she'd fucked up.


I actually did pretty well. The first was standing in the road on a highway. I saw something and started braking and changing lanes. I was almost stopped when it jumped toward me and into my lane. The second just ran right out into the road and sideswiped the car. Between the two, I ended up with damage to the bumper, both fenders, both driver's doors, one rear-view mirror, and the hood.


She broke your heart and then God threw two deer at her, this is an example of those “mysterious ways” his people are always going on about.


Its a rite of passage here in Central PA


PA has 4 driving seasons: Snow Potholes Construction Deer


True. I had a run a while back where hit 5 deer over a period of 2 years (I was working late nights). No serious damage to my car, couple of the deer didn't fare so well.


The really fun ones were the deer who would run as fast as their tiny little brains could possibly push them so that they could slam themselves directly into the SIDE of your car as you went past. I feel like most city folks don't really understand just how fucking stupid they are, lol. Our 97 Aerostar minivan had a gouge like 6 feet long down the sliding door from a buck that bashed himself against the side of it, dragging his antler all the way down as he went.


> I feel like most city folks don't really understand just how fucking stupid they are, At this point, I'm getting curious as to whether deer or roos are the stupider animal. I saw a roo coming across the road one day and managed to stop. So did the roo, about 3-4 metres from my car. Faced with any number of clear directions in which to jump, the stupid fucking thing launched itself against my door, faceplanting straight onto the driver's window. And that incident happened almost smack bang in the middle of Australia's capital city.


Omg, haha. I would have been so torn between screaming and laughing. 🤣


I think I was just pissed and swearing at it. It's face was pressed against the glass a few inches from my face. Out of a full 360 degrees, my car was the only obstacle. It bent the door in so it screeched when I opened or closed it. When I got home and got a look, I could see a perfect outline of a roo, including tail, wherever it had impacted on the body work. Before I could even get the door fixed (was winter and smash repairs were swamped) I hit an enormous roo at about 100km/h and nearly wrote my car off.


I would say deer. I’m ‘Murrican, so I don’t have any experience with roos, but it seems like they are more cocky than stupid. Like, they know they can kick your ass in a fair fight. Deer would get in a fight with a mirror and lose.


They're so very, very stupid. Just so dumb.


Kangaroos are basically Tyrannosaurus deer anyway, so it checks out that they both have miniature brains.


I now know that deer and kangaroos have the same survival instincts.


Which is to say, none.


I had a friend that told me about a hilarious incident she had with a Louisiana Gator. Her morning commute included some winding little backroads and she drove up on a reasonably small gator laying in the road. Can't deive over it, it will mess up your tires, so she honks at it to encourage movement out of her way. The thing reached up and grabbed her bumper and straight ripped it off the car. She had to call her boss and explain that she was going to be late because a gator attacked her car. It was really funny watching her tell it.


Yeah my insurance company would cover it without a deductible if you could show the deer ran into you. I'm like well I don't know how I would hit a door with the side panel of my car... She just ran into me


The worst was driving on Upper Mountain Road to pick him up for High School, having a Chevy Celebrity and getting it totaled by one over-anxious deer. That sounds like a grisly sight with the Aerostar.


This happened to me in Florida. I grew up in Wisconsin so I was familiar with keeping an eye out and that where there’s one, there’s more. I was driving back to Orlando from cocoa beach on backroads to avoid the tolls. At some point, a car in front of me had slowed down because there was a deer. I was slowing down looking for ‘the other one.’ All of a sudden a buck comes out and smashes into the front quarter panel on the drivers side, and fucks up the entirety of the drivers side of my car. Eight years later and I can still see that deer’s face in my window.


I've had Australians tell me that kangaroos have been known to do similar. Apparently they're just as stupid as deer.


Those Roo bars on the front of the cars, do you call them deer bars there?


My friend had that happen to him in his truck... the huge buck ran out, sideswiped his truck, smashing the side of it... but then also spun around when he hit it and managed to wipe its ass all down the side of his white truck as a final fuck you. 🤣😂


OK you're gonna know I'm from the city by this question but I'm going to ask anyway. What do you do with the deer after it hits your car? Assuming it dead can you keep and eat or is that not allowed? What if it's deer season can you keep it then?


Leave it. If you want it, you can take it though. If it’s not dead but can’t run away you can call sheriff or Highway patrol and they’ll come shoot it. Depending on the state you’ll want to call a game warden as well. Then you can take it to a game animal processor and they’ll tell you whether or not it’s edible and process it for you if it is.


Whether or not you can take it depends on where you live, everywhere is different. Obviously they don't want people hitting deer intentionally and keeping them, or shooting a deer and saying they hit it with their car etc., and places that process deer would are probably pretty suspicious in the off season.


>The really fun ones were the deer who would run as fast as their tiny little brains could possibly push them so that they could slam themselves directly into the SIDE of your car as you went past. Dear old Dad tells a story about an early morning drive in his Isuzu P'up about 25 years ago: "These two deer hit one side of the truck and knocked the rust off the other side" When he got rid of that thing it had 250,000 miles and there wasn't one single piece of sheetmetal that was straight and untouched by rust.


I once almost hit an 8+ point buck while doing 50mph on my scooter. Would've been like tossing a water balloon in the cutlery drawer.


Yikes! Deer are the worst when you're on two wheels. I managed to hit a doe with a DR650 just hard enough to knock her down. Definitely the hardest I've ever had to hit the brakes.


My mom rides a motorbike, when she travels with her friends they take turns being the 'deer splitter' ( the person who rides in front of the pack).


When I ride/drive in deer country, it's directly behind a semi for this reason.


Formerly of Berks County here, i’m not sure if it was bucks or Berks but did you hear the story about the couple who left their daughters home to go to their sons home but never made it? The son and daughter, Trying to figure out what happened, left at the same time driving towards each other. They found their parents about smile from their departure place, off the road in a field about 20 yards from the road. A deer had lept a fence, hit their windshield, immediately killing all three at once. The car veered hard to the left and drove about a quarter-mile into the field. I never forgot that, and always kept a strong eye for movement out of the corner of my eye.


That’s scary. This may be weird to say, but whenever I go back to Bucks County it kind of feels like a David Lynch movie.


My wife is from Delco and commuted while going to Villanova. She hit 2 deer in her time working and going to school over there and several other close calls


My friend in Alberta told me a story. The town doctor and his wife were driving and hit a deer. It went through the windshield and ended up in the back seat. Both people were badly injured. The rescue squad was minutes away and got there quickly. The husband sat on the curb and ordered them to attend to his wife, then fell over and died. The hoof had cut open his carotid artery.


Ever eat road kill?


Depends on your definition of road kill


I think it depends on your definition.


Driver at a former job hit a deer en route to his delivery at our Windsor DC. He used the spare cargo straps to truss that beast up in the back of the trailer, and butchered it when he got home. ​ The blood in the back of the trailer was NOT pleasant the next night.


Fellow Bucks resident here, the deer are dumb as fuck here. I had one run into the side of my car as a rode by... On Buck Rd. near The Buck Hotel. You cant make this stuff up.


I think this is common for every area with a deer population. A friend of mine's mom totaled a car because a deer decided to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. In Wisconsin (and the midwest in general, really) there's a sort of joke that "Watch for deer" is the wisconsin (or midwest) version of "I love you"


Deer kill more people each year than sharks.


My dad once hit 3 deer at once. He thought that was some kind of record, until we discovered a neighbor had hit *four* at once.


Lived in Bucks County til I was almost 30. In Texas now and I miss it. I just want to go home and see deer after reading this. And go to Wawa.


Well I have good news for you; they’ve opened up a couple of new Wawas since you left.


Blessed be Wawa


We have tiny deer where I live. Subspecies of the mule deer, blacktails, and they are everywhere. Rare to total a car hitting one of them but annoying AF to hit them because they'll crack the ridiculously expensive plastic bits on the front end of the car. I always forget how huge mule deer are until I leave the island and see one.


In the UK we have the big Reds and nosey Roe deer as natives, and the Sika deer, which are majestic and beautiful to see around the forest, but we've also got Muntjac, which are about the size of a dog and half as smart as the others. Similar to your Blacktails, when you get used to seeing Muntjac about, when you see a herd of Red suddenly stand up in the middle of a field as the sun's coming up it really takes your breath away. They are really intimidating.


Sorta like horses. I swear, if humans hadn't domesticated them, they'd be extinct, by now. Large, fragile, and EXTREMELY skittish, and pretty dumb, even though we anthropormophize them as being sooooo smart. Nah, they're very _sentient,_ which is why we get along with them so well, but they will literally die from eating too fast/too much or because they can't hold still after a minor injury, turning it into a life-threatening injury. (Have 3 wonderful horses. Not just saying shit I read online)


Obligatory r/DeerAreFuckingStupid


Yikes this is a sad sub. None of them are even people putting deer in dangerous situations, it's literally just deer jumping off of hills or tripping over railings, but like damn, those poor dumb animals.


I've had deer run into my parked car and damage the fender. /r/DeerAreFuckingStupid


Here's the flip side. Turkeys even domesticated kinds are notoriously stupid. They will crowd into a corner so tightly that some of them are crushed by the weight of the other turkeys.


We keep sheep around. They make even antelope look brilliant.


My neighbor has a deer farm. 2 things he dealt with were deer getting spooked and breaking their necks on the fence, and most recently Chronic Wasting Disease. His deer were found to be carriers and they were all ordered to be put down. Even worse the entire county closed off hunting season due to his deer being carriers. The town is very unhappy with him.


They are also [terrible drivers](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s88r_q7oufE)




Like sheep, just bigger, slightly dumber and about twice as stubborn.


CGP Grey's video should basically be the answer to this question. Really good video. [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wOmjnioNulo](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wOmjnioNulo)


"If it's big and not dangerous, it's a nervous wreck." Perfect. BTW, if anyone wants some recommendations from that channel, I quite enjoyed the "How To Be A Pirate" videos and the one about tumbleweeds.


100% accurate. At least on land. Most whales seem relatively DGAF about most things. 😅🤷‍♂️


Thanks for the reminder that we are top chicken


> strong instinct for survival > they will literally break their own necks I think nature messed up a bit on this one


Nobody said they were any good at it


Wild goats and sheep are exactly the same, though. Can't compare domestic sheep to wild deer.


I can second this. I seen it. A deer was being chased by dogs on the reserve. The deer jumped the lower fence by the dug outs. It couldn't jump the higher fence in the outfield. Bam. Headfirst into the fence. It couldn't get up and I could tell it broke it's neck. I called DNR and they came shot it in the head.


Funny; because DNR in medical lingo also stands for “Do Not Resuscitate”. I’m wagering DNR here refers to Dept. of Natural Resources?


I like to think that DNR is just Dan Robinson, a friend with a gun


Daniel Nathaniel Robinson


Digital Noise Reduction


Darles Nelson Reilly


You're correct


lmao such a strong instinct for survival that they will kill themselves


Usually because of man made dangers. Not always. I’d rather fall off a cliff than have a wolf disembowel me though.


Went to a little bnb farm with my kids that had a deer who had broken it's neck but survived. It's head just kind of hung there but it was doing fine. Really distrubing to look at however but the owner took care of him and he was healthy as could be minus the neck thing.


Additionally, we have to consider their value as beasts of burden. Until the 20th century, the value of a livestock animal was not solely as food, but its ability to perform work. If they didn't perform work, then they had to be *incredibly* useful in other ways. Sheep provide wool, for example. Cows, donkeys, camels, horses turned out to be extraordinarily good beasts of burden. Deer just don't meet that threshold and offer no other benefits in addition to having lower food value than other livestock. Edit: Also, in the absence of larger animals, pigs could be harnessed to perform small work, just not ridden.




They produce *wonderful* manure, and lots of it- that’s a big one.


Stink walking oinking compost machines


Yep. Horses are similarly troublesome to keep as deer. Being huge, dumb, and ludicrously fragile. But they provide a far more useful service than just meat.


Grew up on a deer farm and the big money wasn’t in the meat, it is in the velvet (I’m assuming since so many people here have no real world experience of deer farming that I need to explain what deer velvet is? Please don’t be offended if you already know this - before the antlers turn to bone they are blood filled and covered in soft velvet- we cut that off and sell it - at the peak in the 90s it was worth a shit load) .


I own a property that used to be a red deer farm. There are 8 foot tall fences criss-crossing the property and several small huts that were for the deer to bed down in. No real barn like you would expect to see on a dairy farm.


Deer farming is also a lot more concentrated into certain geographic regions globally. There's quite a lot of deer farming in New Zealand, especially in the South Island, but you won't see much of it in other Anglo-Saxon countries, because they are supplied with venison from NZ.


Right. My (USA) husband and son took a New Zealand vacation in February 2020 and reported many farms had deer being raised with other cattle.


If you eat venison at a restaurant in the US, there's a pretty high chance that it was sourced from NZ, too 😉. - The US surpassed Germany as our loading export target market for venison around 2018.


Also, NZ raises some damned good venison. Grew up on the wild stuff, but NZ's venison is 10/10.


Funnily enough, most of us here actually prefer wild venison. But then, the wild venison in NZ has the same genetics, it's just less intensively managed.


Most of that is just due to millenia of human domestication though. Obv catching a wild deer and trying to domesticate is not going to be comparable at all to an animal who has specifically been bred for hundreds of generations to be domesticated. I mean wild bovines like a water buffalo are far more dangerous than any wild deer.


That’s because pigs were bred that way right, theoretically if deer somehow became high demand that could change from selective breeding


I don't know about pigs in particular but boar are so damn vicious that if you stabbed one with a spear, it will run up the shaft to attack you. That's why boar spears are winged.


Reindeer have been known to literally fly in packs, and can do so for a whole night


Yeah but if things get a little too foggy they have to rely on a freak genetic mutation to do so safely


I would NEVER allow that in *my* reindeer games. The freak.


The problem with the flying reindeer is that one guy has a monopoly on them. Only he has them and won't let anyone else have them. The government should really step in and do something. Those reindeer could really solve some congestion and oil dependents issues.


Yeah, but you need like a dozen reindeer to handle one person, it doesn’t really scale.


You're looking at this the wrong way. About 32% of the world population is Christian and about 33% is under 20. That's 739.2 million kids, and, assuming they each get a single, one-kilogram present, that's over 700,000 tonnes of material being pulled by **just eight reindeer**. Yes, it's under the control of one person, but they're hauling cargo, not people; having minimal people on board is a feature, not a downside. If you want a downside, a better place to look is their collective agreement. 364 vacation days a year (plus one in a leap year)? Yes, they're very productive that day, but imagine what they could do if they worked even 100 days a year.


I heard about that guy. Doesn’t he get an exemption from Antitrust legislation that prevents business monopolies? I think he has a place up North.


The government wont do anything, the guy watches everyone. Even when they sleep. He gives the intel to the government, so they allow his monopoly


The only difference between wild pigs and domesticated pigs is a fence and about 30 days. They will get furry, and grow tusks. It’s pretty gnarly.




I shot a boar in the ribs with a 12G 000 buck, fucjer got back up and charged me like it was nothing. Shot it again, and it ran off into the bushes. Tracked it a mile, never did find it


No, wild pigs also grow fast, grow fast, do well in sheds, eat most of anything, and don’t require a lot. They reproduce quickly. The difference between domestic pigs and wild Sus Scrofa is primarily docility. Feral pigs begin acting like wild pigs within a generation or two if hunted by either man or predators. However, just break or pull their tusks, castrate the boars, and eat them before they hit 120 lbs, and you are good.


In theory, but its more complicated. Not all animals respond well to selective breeding (like Zebras).


Wild pigs don’t jump very high though.


I've heard that some just gave up the exhausting running and jumping, and just fly now.


Not every animal can be domesticated. Horses can, donkeys can, but not zebra. They can be tamed, but they stay vicious. Elephants have too long lifespans for breeding, and they don't breed well as captives; we didn't domesticate them, we enslaved them. Deer, apart from being very hard to contain in an enclosure, are skittish and regularly prone to panic and can be quite aggressive. Reindeer are calmer; people have been known to milk wild reindeer. Some people don't think they are fully domestic; they have a reduced tendency to migrate compared to caribou and are stockier, but they still move on migration routes.


Many of the things that make pigs good domestic animals were not due to selective breeding but were present in wild boar, that's one reason they were chosen to be domestic animals in the first place. It'd be harder to breed those traits into deer. For example, wild boar can't jump very high. Deer, on the other hand, are great jumpers. Deer have one or two offspring every year, wild boar produce offspring in great numbers. Wild boar also are much less picky about diet than deer.


If we bred deer to be heavy like double the meat/fat after several generations, they wouldn’t run as fast or jump as high and be yummier


PS Reindeer


Another factor is their weak heart, unlike cows, sheep, pigs, etc they can’t be hearded safely with less fear of their heart giving out - which is a problem when they’re being herded by farmers/herd dogs.


Plus I've never seen a deer farm that didn't run into rampant tuberculosis problems too. They don't do well in confined areas.


Tb is tightly controlled on deer farms in NZ, there’s a shit load of regulations ( I grew up on one, we never had Tb)


I'd rather eat venison than mutton, any day. Lamb is a toss-up.


The thing is that mutton also makes clothes. Something pretty important to the ancient humans that were domesticating animals.


>They are, but their meat isn’t in as high demand I mean... That's just because it's rare and expensive. I'd totally eat deer every day if it cost similarly to other meats.


I think that really depends on where you live and your taste. I grew up in Michigan with deer readily available and really don't like deer venison anymore. Bad Venison is too gamey, and the best Venison might as well be beef.


Reindeer are the only deer to be widely domesticated. They're used for labor, meat, milk, and hides & tools. Some people even ride on them like horses. [https://youtu.be/XO1O9WFlQmA](https://youtu.be/XO1O9WFlQmA) [nat geo doc on domesticated deer](https://youtu.be/XX6VB-y9_Pk) So it's possible it's just not widely seen in the rest of the world because cows, pigs, sheep and goat are more readily available and more thoroughly developed with specific breeds for specific needs.


Wow. We have the Sami up north in my country having somewhat domesticated and herded the reindeer for probably millennia, but I've never seen 'em ride em like that.


The reindeer in Norway/Sweden/ Finland are too small to carry adults. The working reindeer are pretty much exclusively used for pulling sleds, and sometimes carry goods. You don't put much more than 40kg on a reindeer. I have only seen one old picture of a young Sami girl riding a reindeer. It was however somewhat common to put small children on the reindeer during summer migration.


Sami don't ride reindeer, they used to have reindeer pull sleds though.


There were a couple attempts back in the day in Sweden to domesticate elks, since they'd make for an intimidating cavalry. Page about it: Swedish: [https://www.faktoider.nu/elgryttare.html](https://www.faktoider.nu/elgryttare.html) Google translated: https://www-faktoider-nu.translate.goog/elgryttare.html?\_x\_tr\_sl=sv&\_x\_tr\_tl=en&\_x\_tr\_hl=en-US&\_x\_tr\_pto=wapp


They utterly failed tho. As anyone who has ever met elk can testify to. Bears are less scary than an adult elk in heat.


Not really, there are plenty of places in northern Sweden where you can visit and pet tame elks. This place for example: https://algenshus.se/tama-algar/ These people even let their tame elk inside the house: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CVea_5u39Fo They make big bank on German tourists. They looove elks for some reason. Horses are simply "more tame" and better at taking instructions than the tame elks.


I think reindeer herding became a thing in the middle ages. The wild reindeer still lives in parts of Scandinavia.


Reindeer are also a large herd animal. Large being used both ways. Large animals and large herds. Whitetails don't travel in groups of hundreds.


I know the groups do get larger, but the most I’ve seen at any single point on my hikes is 2


The western arctic herd is over 325,000. That would be absolutely insane to see.


holy shit, aerial photos of that herd are insane, they look like a swarm of ants!


And to fly


Reindeers are not domesticated. They are semi-domesticated or in process to be domesticated. Most people confuse domestication and taming. Taming is training an individual animal to behave and it's easier on: mamals, young, social specie, domesticated race. Domestication is selective breeding a race into a less agressive, more productive, more dependent race. It takes several millennia usually. Can be done on every specie in theory but it's faster on social species. If we continue to interact with them maybe reindeers will be domesticated in a few centuries.


Not necessarily millennia, still something of an open question and probably varies considerably between species, but the work done with foxes in Siberia has shown considerable success in domestication over only about 70 years now.


Since I don't see the link here, CGP Grey made a good video about domestication that touches on this. https://youtu.be/wOmjnioNulo


Glad you posted this, because I've seen it and had no idea how I was going to find it again for OP.


TLDR deer will literally kill themselves to escape capture


Came here for this


They’d be a decent option if they couldn’t jump over fences. Most of the other domesticated herd animals prior to domestication would avoid trying to jump over a fence, so they could be corralled relatively easily. Even horses that have the capacity to jump would rather not. Deer jump as a primary way to escape predators…which doesn’t fare well for trying to corral them.


Unless things have changed, Fish and Game requires deer in captivity have a 8 foot minimum fenced enclosure


That's the height that's recommended to keep them out of a garden... And you'll still occasionally have one make it over.


This is similar to squirrel domestication, which was tried about a few hundred years ago. They were just too bonkers to be kept as pets and would escape. We had raised a baby once after it was abandoned. They actually are capable of love and affection similar to a cat. [https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/pet-squirrel-craze](https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/pet-squirrel-craze)


Deer are naturally skitish and hard to catch or control. They have very little meat on them compared to plumpier animals. Their skin is nothing special, and they have basically no fur. In short they have nothing valuable about them compared to the much easier to control and fatter animals.


Reindeer are plumper, and furrier; their wool is actually used. They don't jump as much; they aren't as skittish, and they have a different herd structure and don't seem as inclined to aggression. They are the same species as caribou with domesticated traits. Moose, elk and caribou are all deer.


Thats fair and scientifically correct, but in common lexicon most people only think of "deer" as deer. Even being of a more scientific mind myself, my only thought at OP's question was the common deer, not the other critters in the same family. Though I dare anyone to try and domesticate a moose lmao. One once bit my sister.


Moose domestication has been tried in Sweden. They wanted to use it for cavalry. It didn't work.


There is no such thing as a common deer. There are whitetail, mule deer, elk, moose, fallow deer, red deer, sika, muntjac, caribou, roe deer...I'm not going to try asia. It is interesting to look at the one deer of the group that has been at least partially domesticated and see how it differs from the rest of the family.


My uncle and aunt had a deer farm, imported deer from New Zealand. They were smaller than Canadian deer and behaved like goats. They ate my son's homework. The market was too small to be lucrative and meat packing laws made it difficult to do small sales.


That was the first thing I thought of. I had farm-raised deer when I when I was in New Zealand.


Yeah, I'm m in New Zealand and there are at least four places near me that have deer. Cows and sheep still more common but deer is not unusual.


>They ate my son's homework. So he claims


I think everyone is missing the most important reason. Value of domestication. A cow produces about 1200lbs of meat whereas a deer only produces about 100. Yes that number would improve with domestication of deer, but only so much. Why put in the effort for only 10% of the meat?


Also, fattening up a deer wouldn't add to it's value like it does for a cow. Deer fat tastes absolutely disgusting. At least whitetail deer fat tastes disgusting. I don't know about other varieties.


I wonder how much of that taste is really due to it being deer and how much due to it being wild game? (I'm sure a domesticated deer would taste different, just not sure exactly how.)


That would be interesting to see the difference between a wild and a domesticated deer! Maybe with less trauma and running from predators they would taste very different.


Grass fed and grain fed beef taste different, but not a lot different. Probably because you're still using stock with thousands and thousands of years of domestication in their history. I'd expect similar for venison - you could change the flavor a little with feed but not entirely.


A lot of commercial grass-fed beef is corn-finished - fed grass for a large portion of its life, and then fed corn for a few months up to the time of slaughter. This heavily mutes the flavor of the grass, so a commercial cut of grass-fed beef generally won't taste as "true" as a beef from a cow that ate grass the entirety of its life.


Venison itself has a strong flavor, but that I like. The fat tastes almost like it's rancid. It's not soft fat like a cow, but rather hard. I think it's specific to deer, and possibly elk, because people intentionally eat fat from similar critters like moose and caribou. But I've never heard of or read about anyone eating deer fat.


A lot of people prefer venison because it is leaner in the first place. Fattening up for yields would defeat the purpose, even if it didn't taste shitty


On the other hand, a white tail deer breeder in Texas can easily get $5k for a good sized buck from a fat-ass Houston lawyer that wants a big trophy rack on his wall for bragging rights without actually having to endure any discomfort. Sick, but profitable.


I don’t think raising a deer only for it to die in an instant from a well placed shot is any worse than factory farming chickens or cows or pigs.


There are roughly 6 things that species needs to be domesticable: a diverse appetite, rapid maturation, willingness to breed in captivity, docility, strong nerves, and a nature that conforms to social hierarchy. Deer have a diverse appetite and rapid maturation. Many deer also live in social hierarchies that humans can supplant, as we have done with sheep, cows, and horses. Some places have even had success with getting deer to breed in captivity, but it's more challenging than you think. It's really the last two that most species of deer fall down on. They are prone to flights of nerves and acts of reactive aggression. Some deer can have such a bad reaction to being captured that they literally die of fright. Another concern for modern humans rather than our ancestors is that cervids like deer are a major source of pathogens that can jump into humans, principally via ticks. It gets worse. Deer have their own prion disease that we just call Chronic Wasting Disease. If that ever spread to humans like mad cow disease did back in the 90s... it could be seriously bad.


We farm them in New Zealand, and apparently they are quite profitable. As well as venison they also provide deer velvet, which fetches good prices in Asia. I don’t know much about it, but you always know a deer farm when you see it because of the high mesh fencing. They are an introduced animal here, as are all mammals except bats. Unlike other domestic animals they also live in the wild, where they are a significant pest. Deer hunting is therefore encouraged and popular here.


Yeah I was scratching my head when I saw this thread. Had no idea deer weren't commonly farmed in most countries. They're not that difficult to deal with, just require higher mesh fencing.


We tendes to domesticate creatures that are easy and offer a good yield. Herd animals are easier to manage, we also needed to sustain them in captivity. It’s why we domesticated dogs, rather than bears, or chickens instead of elephants. If we wanted deer meat we could hunt them, but you would not want to forage for wild chicken eggs, or milk goats in the wild, so it’s easier to bring them inside.


Elephants are herd animals though


Deer farming is a growing industry in my country (New Zealand) in significant but much smaller numbers than more traditional animals like sheep and cattle - there are around 800,000 farmed deer , vs ~28m sheep, 4m beef cattle and 6.4m dairy cattle. ([this is my source for these figures](https://beeflambnz.com/sites/default/files/data/files/Compendium-2020.pdf); some sources give much higher numbers for deer, eg Wikipedia has the figure at something like 1.7m in 2006). The herds here are primarily red deer, fallow and wapiti/red hybrids. I don’t know what the threshold would be for determining whether something is properly domesticated as opposed to being, like, an enclosed-but-still-behaviourally-wild animal - most local resources refer to deer as having been domesticated, and conscious decisions are made about breeding them (you can get catalogues of breeding stags for sale with detailed lineages), and according to [this source](https://www.landcare.org.nz/file/deer-farmers-landcare-manual-2012/open), the behaviour of wild deer and farmed deer is significantly different but then that’s at least partly down to how the farmers treat them. I guess they’re semi-domesticated? I think other people have already raised a lot of the arguments as to why deer weren’t domesticated in the past - they’re skittish, fast-moving creatures; the males get very aggressive during mating season; they don’t produce very much meat compared to other animals (although they do produce other products - eg antlers/velvet/deer penises - which can be sold at quite high prices, velvet accounted for almost NZ$60m of the $296m made by the deer industry in 2018-19 according to the compendium I linked above). Historically the effort to farm deer would have outweighed the advantages, I think. e: also another reason why I think they’re “more domesticated” here than elsewhere is that our strict biosecurity laws mean that the diseases associated with deer in the rest of the world aren’t a factor here, if we had to contend with that it might have discouraged deer farming


There are deer farms in many countries. From Canada to New Zealand to Europe. So I would day that they are partially domesticated.


That's like arguing that fish are domesticated because fish farms exist. Domestication is a long process of slowly breeding the required qualities into and out of a species.


Traveled to Alaska a couple of times in 2018: Juneau, Anchorage, Talkeetna. Not much beef on the menu, except at the Anchorage Hilton. Plenty of "reindeer" steaks, sausage, etc. I don't know whether they are the same race as those herded by the Saami people of northern Norway and Sweden, or are domesticated native caribou. There is a tame herd of deer at Nara, a former capital of Japan. They interact freely with tourists. I don't think they are used for food. There used to be a herd of tame Texas white tails in the Quadrangle at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, may still be. They weren't used for food. If I get out for my walk before 7:30 AM in my northwest Austin neighborhood, I will see white tails in my neighbors' front yards. They aren't tame, but they live in the city. You have to be careful driving after dark. You may encounter them in the streets.


People are missing the point of domestication. It’s not that deer run and jump better than pigs, cows or sheep. It’s the lack of herd structure that allows for a human to dominate and be recognized as the leader. Yes, their athleticism makes it difficult, but it’s the lack of tame-able (couldn’t decide how to spell it lol) traits that stick generation to generation that prevent it from being domesticated.


Cats are domesticated and they don't have a heard structure and they definitely dont recognize any humans as their leader.


We also didn't domesticate cats to eat them. Cats just started hanging around people because agricultural activity attracts mice & rats, and we encouraged them stay because it was mutually beneficial. Same case with dogs to a degree, but much earlier - hang around the people and they'll throw you a few bones after a good hunt, help them hunt and you get more bones, live with them and get *all the bones*.


However domesticated cats are the only feline known to form somewhat large organized social groups other than lions. Not really roaming as a herd, but they do team up in smaller numbers while hunting or raising offspring.


Cats are the only known animal to be willing domesticated. However they are domesticated and tame, while deer are not. You can own a deer it’s whole life and not tame it, and it’s children won’t be tame and their children won’t be tame. A lot of people have tried to own deer as pets only to get fucked up by their apparently docile buddy.


The original dogs were willingly domesticated? Its my understanding that they started to hang out around humans to share in hunts/meat and the tamer ones ended up getting closer and relatively more domesticated?


They also generally aren't raised for food. They are used for companionship and pest control, and arguably domesticated us.


>Cats are domesticated actually only semi-domesticated, also they basically chose to move into our lives. [https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/article/domesticated-cats-dna-genetics-pets-science](https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/article/domesticated-cats-dna-genetics-pets-science)