Dearing's Deer Farm Summer 2020

Just outside of the village of Greenup, Illinois sits Dearing’s Deer Farm. Greenup sits off of I-70 east of Effingham. In the spring 1999 the Dearings began their new family farm. The farm was started by Bill and Jane who still own and operate the deer farm to this day. Jane cannot believe that they have been running the farm for this long. 

The Dearings started up their deer farm because they were interested in alternative farming and finding profitable ways to use the land they had. Over the last two decades the Dearings have had several species of deer including sika and fallow. While the Dearings love all species of deer, they have transitioned to only owning whitetails.  They currently have over fifty deer on their property.  

Now running a family business for two decades isn’t something that Bill and Jane could do on their own, so they got their family involved. Family involvement with the Dearings means getting their sons, grandchildren, and now great-grandchild. Keeping the family involved is important to the Dearings. 

The Dearings keep their farms goals pretty simple: consistently produce healthy, friendly, quality deer. These are goals that every deer farm should be working toward. Producing these kinds of deer is never easy. 20 years has brought a lot of change in the industry and the Dearings have tried their best to keep up. Artificial insemination became more prevalent in the deer industry while the Dearings have been deer farmers. Never having done that before the Dearings were hesitant but jumped at the opportunity and are glad they did. This is just one of a few challenges they have faced. Jane says that there is always something new happening with the deer; from pest control to EHD, they have had to deal with it. 

One of the biggest challenges Bill and Jane have faced is making the decision to bottle feed every single one of their fawns. They agree that it is a time consuming operation, but the rewards have been plentiful. The Dearings love showing off their deer as often as possible and they love to see the look on the faces of their visitors when they pet a deer for the first time. Jane mentions how she loves to hear the kids giggle when the fawns are suckling from the bottle in their hands.

Through these challenges the Dearings have had help from their family and those within the industry. Two people they would like to thank for all their help and for always answering the Dearings calls are Drs. Shipley and Ballman. Those two always try to help in any way they can. The Dearings also believe ILDFA has been a benefit to them. Bill was one of the original first board members for the organization and helped in this capacity for a number of years. The Dearings know that you can receive a lot of information from ILDFA, find a great support network, and make lifelong friends in the organization. 

Keeping their family involved has been a priority of the Dearings through their entire deer farming journey. For two decades, their sons, grandchildren and now great-grandchildren have been essential in making their business a family success.  

Bill and Jane have been farming deer for a long time and are a great resource if you have questions. Look for them at the next ILDFA function and say hello. I am sure you will see their enthusiasm and love for deer shine.