Vice-President's Message and Newsletter October 2019

ILDFA members,

Fall greetings!  Breeding and hunting season are upon us (whether we like it or not).  A busy time of year for all!  My son, wife and several volunteer students from the UI veterinary school helped me run my does through the other night and put CIDRs in.  It was good to have the extra help!  Now I have to confirm doe list, genetics, semen list and make sure everything else is in order for the big day.  For those of you who attended Rusty’s picnic and won a straw of semen, please double check with me and we’ll make sure the semen is transferred to you.  I had a wonderful note taker that day but I don’t have last names or mailing addresses, phone numbers etc.!! 

Speaking of breeding season, I don’t want this to come off as a commercial, but I feel that this will help all Illinois (and for that matter all deer farmers).  As some of you may know (and a few tried it out a couple of years ago) I have been working on a feed ingredient that alters the sex ratio of fawns to approximately a 70% buck: 30% doe ration.  It has worked on my farm for the last 5 years and I am working with Dr. Rick Balsbaugh (retired ADM Nutrition) to try and make and sell the product.  We’ve gotten a late start for this year and have a slower manufacturing process than we’d like, but are trying to get product out to different areas of the country to show that it’ll work in TX, IN, IA, MO etc. and gather enough data to see if it’s statistically significant.  We will have a graduate student from the University of Illinois gathering data this spring  so we will know how it works on a larger scale way before next fall.  It looks like we may have some extra product to use here in IL (we already have a few farms trying it) so if you are interested, please contact me.  It’s not very expensive (about $16 dollars per doe) and even less if you count the feed that is replaced by the product.  Recommendations are to start feeding about 20 or so days prior to breeding (so now) and run for 30 days or so post breeding (this catches the backups and 2nd rutters and most doe fawns that are breeding this year.  We can arrange shipment if you can’t make it to Arthur to pick it up.  Real World Wildlife Products is helping us distribute product and ship. 

Next subject!  Annual meeting will be January 18th at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine as we did years ago.  A complete agenda will go out in a month or so, but will include speaker(s), elections and our annual (late!) fundraiser auction.  As always, we will be looking for items/donations for the auction.  Rusty Karr is coordinating that committee.  So if you have questions give him a call, email or text! 

We are still in search of donations to help us make it fiscally until our annual meeting.  I know some of you have cashed your checks from buck sales (and other) and we would appreciate anything that you can do for the organization to keep us solvent.  Send a check today to Chet! He’ll appreciate it!

Last, NADeFA (North American Deer Farmers) annual meeting will be held in French Lick, Indiana this year from March 25th to 28th.  It will most likely never be closer, French Lick is a beautiful venue and not very expensive (if you stay out of the casino)! 



PS…  check your dates for TB, Brucellosis certification and validation… several people have asked, still have to test as far as I know every three (3) years…