UpperMidwest Spring 2024

Page 1



Sponsored by WOO


Focused on CWD Resistance and Quality Breeding

Sponsored by Rocky Ridge Whitetails


If I Knew Then What I Know Now, What I May Have Done Differently

Sponsored by UDFOM

Volume 11 l Issue 1
2024 l
Sudden Express / Witch Dr / Express NADR# 295744 See Ad Inside


Grant Carrolan

Hidden Hollow Whitetails



Adam Helgelan d

Trophy Whitetail Deer



Scott Fier

Buffalo Ridge Whitetails 507-829-3151 fierscott@gmail.com

Mike Ryckman Ryckman Whitetails 701-527-2101 ryckman219@gmail.com


Whitetail Farms



MAGAZINE GRAPHIC DESIGN AND PUBLISHING: D & K Design 305 E. 350 N., Ivins, UT 84738 deerassociations@gmail.com P) 435-817-0150 (Editorial Provided by


ADVERTISERS INDEX 5 Star Genetics ..............................................5 ADM Alliance Nutrition, Inc. 55 Alfahay ......................................... Back Cover Baker Whitetails Inside Back Cover Bella Mia Ranch ............................................9 Blessed Bayou 48 Blosser Whitetails ...................................... 52 Blue Creek Whitetails ................................ 30 Cervid Central Market Place 20 Cervid Solutions, LLC ................................ 26 Circle H Whitetails Center Spread Clay Kuntry Whitetails ............................... 25 Clear Creek Whitetails ............................... 42 CuddliEZ 12 Dan-Inject North America......................... 53 Droptine Studios 50 EZid, LLC ...................................................... 12 Fox Valley Animal Nutrition, Inc .............. 34 Headgear, LLC ............................................ 40 Hilty Whitetails ........................................... 36 Illini Whitetails 32 Jo Jo’s Whitetails ......................................... 46 NexGen Animal Health 49 North American Deer Registry................. 44 Pine Creek Deer Farm ............................... 18 Pneu-Dart 24 Prime Acres Whitetails .............................. 45 Purina 38 Rolling Ridge Whitetails .................. Cover, 2 Straight Shooter Game Fencing 44 Tajada Whitetail Ranch ............................. 39 Trophy Whitetails..... Inside Front Cover, 21 Walnut Ridge Whitetails 13 White Mountain Whitetails ....................... 11 Woodard Whitetails 35 IN
D&K Design Advertising Information ............................. 56 ILDFA Association .............................................................14 IWDA Association ................................................................ 4 MDFA Association ............................................................... 8 Membership Applications 3 Member Business Cards 54 NDDRA Association 10 Puzzle Pages ............................................................... 47, 51 Quarterly Calandar ...........................................................19 Recipe - Venison Fajitas ...................................................43 SDDEBA Association ........................................................... 6
FEATURED ARTICLES: Michigan Deer Farmers Share – If I Knew Then What I Know Now ............... 41 Reflections on "The Best Year Yet" in the Deer Industry ................................ 33 Rocky Ridge WhitetailsFocused on CWD Resistance and Quality Breeding ................................... 22-23 Top 30 North and South and Chupp’s AuctionsOffer Valuable Networking Venues.................................................................... 37 ASSOCIATION INFORMATION: ILDFA - A Message from Grant Carrolan & Lisa Shepard 15 Illinois Deer Farmers 2024 Convention Photos.......................................... 27, 31 Illinois Deer Farmer’s Association - Convention Overview ........................ 16-17 South Dakota Deer & Elk Farmers Association Board Members Message 15
31ST, 2024
link to an email, website, or facebook page
Watch for These
- these are interactive links in the eBook that is sent out to all
indicates there is a video
indicates there is a

2024 Membership Application

(Illinois) ILDFA: Assoc. Member $25 Active Member $50 Lifetime Member $500 (Iowa) IWDA: _____ Assoc. Member $50 _____ Active Member $100 Lifetime Member $500 (Minnesota) MDFA: Assoc. Member $50 _____ Active Member $75 (North Dakota) NDDRA: Assoc. Member $50 Active Member $75 (South Dakota) SDEBA: Assoc. Member $25 _____ Animal Owners $50

PLEASE NOTE: If you are a resident of any of these states and required to be an active member, please select the correct level above. If you are not sure of your membership status with a state and you sign up, your payment will cover you for the next year. *** These states allow anyone that lives in their state and not raising deer but have interest to supporting the industry to be at the Associate Membership Level. This level is a non-voting level.

Name: Spouse or Partner:

Farm Name/Company:

Membership Address: City: State: Zip:____________County

Main preferred listing phone:

Alternate listing phone: Fax: Email:


Check which apply ___:Own Hunting Preserve ___Own Breeding Operation ___Industry Supplier Species Raised: ___ Whitetail Deer ___Elk ___Mule Deer Other Species Raised:

Products I Offer: __ Meat __Velvet Antler __ Industry Supplies __ Feed __ Nutritional Supplements ___Vaccine ___Graphic Design & or Web Design Other Products or Services:

I hereby make application for membership to these associations, agreeing to conform to the Code of Ethics and Bylaws governing the associations.

Signature: Date:

I give permission to have my contact information published in the annual directory and on the website Yes No

Please mail applications to:

ILDFA: Chet Hostettler, 510 S. Pine St, Arthur, IL 61911

IWDA: Tom Stumpf, 2045 270th St, Rockwell City, IA 50579

MDFA: Mark Volk, 9095 160th Ave, Royalton, MN 56373

NDDRA: Lani Schafer, 1223 18th Ave NW, Turtle Lake, ND 58575

SDEBA: Brandon Walker, 19145 Robbs Flat Road, Midland, SD 57552

Total: ________________ Check: #___________ Credit Card ____

Board of Directors

Adam Helgeland President Trophy Whitetail Deer 641-590-3410 adamhelgeland@gmail.com

Fred Huebner Vice President Circle H Ranch 319-530-7824

Tom Stumpf Treasurer God’s Country Whitetails 712-830-2358


Roger Strunk Secretary Strunk's Whitetail Haven 319-470-2413 rlstrunk@yahoo.com

Mike Hine

Timberghost Ranch 319-394-9876 mike@timberghost.com

Jake Lahr 319-975-0005

Mick Tonderum GMT Farms Inc. 712-260-7310 gmtfarms74@hotmail.com

Matt Nebel

River Bottom Game Farm


Chad Machart Prairie Antler Ranch

Board of Directors

Greg Leenderts Chairman Whitetail Farms

507-227-6328 gleenderts@alliancecom.net

Brandon Walker Secretary/Treasurer

Cedar Breaks Mule Deer Ranch 605-567-3563 brandon@cedarbreaksranch.com

Mark Hollenbeck

Sunrise Ranch 605-685-3376 markholl@gwtc.net

Shane Zylstra Vice-Chairman

Cody Warne Stone Meadow Ranch 605-222-7407 codybuckwarne@msn.com

Rob Curtis

Liz Vogelsong

South Dakota Welcomes Deer Farmers with Open Arms A

Moment with SDDEBA Secretary/Treasurer Brandon Walker

Although The South Dakota Deer and Elk Breeders Association may not have a typical annual event or a fundraiser, we participate every spring in something very meaningful and important to those of us raising cervids in our beautiful state of South Dakota. On April 6th, The Animal Industry Board in Pierre, South Dakota, provided us with a conference room where we met with very pro-deer and level-headed individuals such as State Veterinarian Dr. Beth Thompson among others. There, we held an Open Forum meeting and discussed any concerns we had and developed solutions. Our CWD program is going well, and the Animal Industry Board of South Dakota is providing us with as much assistance as they can offer with both ante-mortem and post-mortem testing. Financial aid is provided through the cooperative agreement funds that the state has allocated for us.

Although South Dakota is operating with a CWD-positive ranch, they have permission to ship deer to other endemic areas within the state with oversight of the Animal Industry Board. In addition, for those of us who routinely lose a deer in the normal day to day raising of them, we are able to apply for funding for CWD testing and be reimbursed on the “back end of things.” Overall, we have it very good here in South Dakota and have plenty of room in our state for new deer farmers from mule deer, whitetail and elk. Currently we have close to 30 members with annual membership dues of $100. We encourage anyone considering becoming a deer farmer or moving to a more deer friendly state to consider South Dakota. We have a lot to be grateful for.

Brandon Walker brandon@cedarbreaksranch.com 608-695-0796

Board of Directors

Scott Fier President Buffalo Ridge Whitetails 507-829-3151 fierscott@gmail.com

Mark Volk Treasurer Volk Whitetails 320-232-3352 volkwhitetails@outlook.com

Whitetails 218-526-0180 porterwhitetail@gmail.com

Gary Olson Olson Whitetails 507-269-9791 garypolson2005@yahoo.com

Steve Dougherty Zumbro River Whitetails 507-269-7346 steve@zumbroriverwhitetails.com Deb Holthaus 320-360-4667 Deb@Benefits-MN.com

Uchytil Vice President
Crow River Whitetails 320-894-1914 crowriverwhitetails@gmail.com
Porter Secretary Porter
Scott Salonek 612-850-8684
Ken Williams 320-291-3385 kwilliams7777@outlook.com HTTPS://MDFA.WILDAPRICOT.ORG

Mike Ryckman


Ryckman Whitetails PO Box 565

Linton, ND 58552

Board of Directors

Chris Ryckman

Ryckman Whitetails 6160 Hiway 1804

Bismarck, ND 58504


1223 18th Ave NW

Turtle Lake, ND 58575

Bob Miller

Evolution Whitetails 10801 52nd St NE

Bismarck, ND 58503

Butch Dick

Board Member 6379 123rd Ave SE Lisbon, ND 58054

12 Mary Volk “The Mask Lady” 320.232.7493 cuddliez@outlook.com #1 Recommended Deer Mask! Custom Embroidery Veteran Owned Business Micr ochips • USDA 15 digit ISO • 9 digit Avid and 10 digit Euro. Avid Reader s • Avid MiniTracker Livestock Reader specially priced. • Blue Tooth® option. • Dependable Fast, Accurate read EVERY Time! • U.S.A. made and service. Mention this ad For limited time only. Coupon: event 21 L Limited time offer mention this ad for discount $ave Huge on MiniTr acker Reader and Save $10 on 25 microchip SUDS

Board of Directors

Grant Carrolan


Hidden Hollow Whitetails (618) 559-5952 gra5566@yahoo.com

Chet Hostettler

Treasurer Illini Whitetails (217) 246-8566 illwchet@gmail.com

Rick Davidson 2023-2026

Illinois Dominant Bucks (217) 260-2825 rdavidson@vivecrop.com

Rusty Karr 2022-2025 Dominant Genetics (309) 275-9567 rusty_k2000@yahoo.com

Chase Baker

Vice President Baker Whitetails 618-841-9776 bakerwhitetails@outlook.com

Kyle Neal Secretary Neal's Whitetail Ranch (618) 967-0076 nealfarms38@hotmail.com

Billie Rix 2023-2026

Red Wire Ranch 630-816-8977 billierix@yahoo.com

Mark Voss 2024-2027 Voss Whitetails 618-343-5653

Larry Hackethal 2021-2024 (618) 893-2252 pro1ab@frontier.com

Ryan Sauls 2024-2027 Flatland Whitetails 618-380-3073

Riley "Dink" Vaughan 2023-2026 Vaughan Deer Farm 618-383-0227 vaughnriley780@gmail.com

Travis Phelps 2023-2026

Moultrie County Monsters 217-246-1319 mocomonsters@gmail.com

A Message from Grant Carrolan & Lisa Shepard

Greetings Deer Farmers, experienced and new!

I would like to take a moment to thank everyone who was able to attend our ILDFA annual meeting and fundraiser online, in person, or both. It was a big year for us! With growth brings new opportunities and possibilities. We outgrew our previous location and hit a home run when we were able to book the Effingham Event Center, officially taking our one-day event and making it two.

Starting Friday evening with a pizza social provided by Chase Baker of Baker Whitetails and a free CWD Sampling Training Opportunity thanks to the Department of Agriculture Bureau of Animal Health and Welfare's, Dr. Willney and her excellent colleagues. Day two started with a second opportunity to attend Dr. Willney's class for anyone who was unable to make it Friday night. A tasty breakfast assortment of Dunkin Donuts was graciously provided by Billie Jo Rix and Mark Mann of Red Wire Ranch Whitetails for our morning social. Then straight into our main event including an antler competition, photo competition, silent auction, lunch, and our in-house live auction. If that wasn't exciting enough, we also gave away a gun as a door prize and had four other guns to raffle off.

I want to wish everyone a happy, healthy, and abundantly successful fawning season. May we all be blessed beyond belief.

Our next event will be our ILDFA Annual Fall Picnic. Details to come soon.

Grant Carrolan & Lisa Shepard






Illinois Deer Farmer’s Association Going Strong - EVENT OVERVIEW

A Moment with Vice President Chase Baker

Membership in the Illinois Deer Farmer’s Association is as strong as it’s ever been. Our spring event and fundraiser April 5th and 6th at The Effingham Event Center, (a new venue for us) in Effingham, Illinois, was extremely well attended. We welcomed deer farmers from our own state as well as Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, South Dakota, Minnesota, Alabama and Wisconsin. A Friday night pizza dinner, sponsored by Baker Whitetails, was followed the next day by a delicious “soul-food” fried chicken lunch sponsored by Springfield Whitetails. Overall, the camaraderie combined with some fun activities and great attendance made the whole event worthwhile.

During the event, classes concluding with certifications were offered for “do-it-yourself” CWD testing. Illinois Department of Agriculture Guest Speakers Dr. Stephanie Willney and Dr. Stacy Slager conducted each class, both filled to maximum capacity of 28 people per session. Everyone who took the class received a certification, along with the equipment needed for testing and shipment to the testing lab. We were thrilled to have this opportunity and for them to be there. Illinois has full support from The Dept. of AG to do what we love, and for that we are so grateful. I’d also like to thank everyone who helped the event run smoothly from D & K Design Customer Care Representative Sam Uchytil, Ashley Peterson from Medgene Labs, Photo Contest Sponsor Red Wire Ranch and Antler Competition Sponsor Kalmbach Feeds. Thank you to everyone else who helped out or donated anything. I’m so excited for next year I’m already prepared to start planning. I’d welcome anyone’s help who also wants to plan with me. We have a lot to look forward to here in Illinois!

Chase Baker

Baker Whitetails



“I’m so excited for next year I’m already prepared to start planning. I’d welcome anyone’s help who also wants to plan with me. We have a lot to look forward to here in Illinois! “ - Chase Baker

Quarterly Calendar Update

Ad Deadlines & Events

Calendar Update ~ Ad Deadlines

19 Indiana Deer & Elk Farmers’ Association Annaual Meeting Benefit Auction Whtietails of Louisiana Expo & Auction New York Deer and Elk Farmers Association Summer Picnic North Dakota Deer Ranchers Annual Meeting Southeast Tines Fall Deadline The IDEFA Journal Fall Deadline Pennsylvania Fall Deadline Upper Midwest Summer Deadline Mulit-Magazine Fall Deadline Kentucky Alternative Livestock Association Summer Showcase Fundraiser Auction Event Indiana Deer & Elk Farmers’ Association Annaual Meeting Benefit Auction Whtietails of Louisiana Expo & Auction New York Deer and Elk Farmers Association Summer Picnic TBD North Dakota Deer Ranchers Annual Meeting Texas Deer Association Annual Convention 2023 Ohio Fall Deer Convention Bluegrass Trophy Buck Auction, Cave City, KY Southeast Tines Fall Deadline The IDEFA Journal Fall Deadline Pennsylvania Fall Deadline Upper Midwest Summer Deadline Mulit-Magazine Fall Deadline Kentucky Alternative Livestock Association Summer Showcase Fudraiser Auction Event Visit our website for more details realated to events: deersites.com *SHOWCASE BOOK IN THE MAIL! to Deer Farmers in over 20 States! * See Showcase Flyer in this magazine for more information * LAST DAY TO SUBMINT UPDATED BUCK PHOTOS Labor Day Pennsylvania Deer Farmers Association Fall Classic Stocker and Breeder Auction & Annual Pennsylvania Deer and Outdoor Expo 2023 SOUTHERN TOP 30 Whitetail & Specialty Extravaganza Great Wolf Lodge, Grapevine, TX Louisiana Fall Deadline Kentucky & New York Fall Deadline Tri-State Associations Fall Deadline Labor Day Pennsylvania Deer Farmers Association Fall Classic Stocker and Breeder Auction & Annual Pennsylvania Deer and Outdoor Expo Louisiana Fall Deadline Tri-State Associations Fall Deadline Columbus Day Halloween Quest for Michigan’s Best Fall Deadline Quarterly
Provided by D&K Design, Publisher for State Association Magazines l VISIT OUR WEBSITE FOR MORE EVENT DETAILS: DEERSITES.COM AUGUST SEPTEMBER OCTOBER * See Showcase Flier in this magazine for more information
& Events
IDEFA Journal Summer Deadline JUNE Kentucky & New York Summer Deadlines MAY Summer Quarter Begins Southeast Tines Summer Deadline Pennsylvania Summer Deadline Tri-State Associations Summer Deadline Mother’s Day Memorial Day Louisiana Summer Deadline Father’s Day Flag Day JULY Louisiana Summer Deadline Alabama Summer Deadline Ohio Summer Deadline Summer Quarter Begins Michigan Summer Deadline UpperMidwest Summer Deadline KEDA Summer Picnic Independance Day IDEFA Summer Picnic Fundraiser


When asking John Ervin Stoltzfus at Rocky Ridge Whitetails what he breeds for, his answer always begins the same way. “I don’t take short cuts. I breed for super large mainframes, such as beam length, tine length, width, and solid mass,” he said. He feels confident in his decisions and validated by the fact he is consistently winning antler competition awards at NADeFA. “I really like the “wow factor” when you get those antlers in your hands,” he added.

John Ervin likes to breed a variety of deer for his customers to choose from, such as large clean typicals, large typical mainframes with extras to help increase score and give more character. Close to 15% of his herd he breeds for 500”+ and 600”+ giant nontypical’s with a focus on large balanced mainframes. In addition to breeding for a variety of antler types, he also breeds for health, body size and proven “pass down” genetics. “All of these factors have been a high priority for many years at Rocky Ridge Whitetails

emphasized. However, his focus has also shifted to another unavoidable trait in the quest to produce quality deer, breeding for CWD resistance.

Scientific research by experts such as Dr. Haley, Dr. Seabury and numerous research facilities like the one found in Aimes, Iowa has paved the way for a future potentially void of CWD. “I’ve always had a passion and fascination to study, breed, watch and follow genetics and pedigrees in whitetail deer,” John Ervin said. “About 6 years ago when I heard about Dr. Haley’s research in whitetails on CWD resistant genes, it got my attention. I always had a feeling that nature has a way of taking its course and the weak will die off. But the strong genes will survive and reproduce. If they could breed out sheep scrapies, then why couldn’t deer farmers breed deer CWD resistant deer, since both are a prion disease.”

John Ervin also feels optimistic about a genetic test first introduced three years ago by Dr. Seabury, a

Value (GEBV) test for CWD resistance. Continued research will include updating this genomic test through CWD positive herd research. “I believe CWD research needs to be continued especially since it’s a regulated disease,” John Ervin explained. “I am grateful to Dr. Seabury and to NADR for updating GEBV research annually. NADR is now doing the GEBV and codon marker test.” As a result of this test, recommendations now include breeding away from codon 96 GG and instead breeding the combination codon 96 SS and lower negative number GEBV’s, which is proving successful in making deer less susceptible to contracting CWD.

John Ervin feels determining breeding markers is easy and while that itself may not take long, breeding lower and lower GEBV numbers will take a lot more time if your goal is to have your whole herd at the lowest GEBV numbers possible in spite of variables such as prion contamination exposure. “I find it very interesting on GEBV pass

it just like breeding for antler size. “You would expect that in breeding a 200” class doe to a 400” buck, that the sons should be close to the middle at 300”. But anyone that has been breeding deer long enough knows that isn’t nearly the case, with some being under 200” and some being somewhere between 200” to 400”. And sometimes you get that one that is even bigger and better then both parents. And, naturally the desire is to breed the bigger and better deer, if you are striving to improve and take your herd to the next level.”

In the 27 years that John Ervin has spent raising whitetails, he has seen and appreciated the efforts of deer farmers striving to produce their next level of deer. He is hopeful the industry will see the same thing happen with GEBV’s and that CWD will cease to exist on deer farms. He understands the numbers have continued to rise for CWD positives and CWD trace-out quarantines in his home state of Pennsylvania and for many other states. “There has been a lot of CWD found in the wild in the recent years and it seems to have an effect on many deer farms going CWD positive,” John Ervin shared. “Our Pennsylvania Game Commission does a good job at supplying the records on tracking CWD in the wild herds, but they don’t have a good solution to eradicate CWD. The following are reports on the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s website for Bedford and Lancaster Counties.

Bedford County wild deer #CWD tested #CWD positive

2012/2013 season 5% positive 20 1

2013/2014 season 0.34% positive 581 2

2014/2015 season 0.43% positive....... 462 .................. 2

2015/2016 season 0.94% positive 636 6

2016/2017 season 2.56% positive 678 18 2017/2018 season 3.99% positive....... 1103 ................ 44

2018/2019 season 5.23% positive 1223 64

2019/2020 season 7.76% positive 1263 98

2020/2021 season 14% positive 886 124

2021/2022 season 22.15% positive 614 136

2022/2023 season 32.54% positive 676 220 2023/2024 season results still coming in and to this date percentage of CWD positive has increased again

While you can track each county on the PA Game Commission website for wild deer, John Ervin picked the first county (Bedford) where CWD was found in 2012 and his own county (Lancaster) where his farm is. While he is thankful no CWD was ever found in his county in wild deer to this date, he does understand that could change in the future with wild deer CWD positive appearing on the other side of his farm fence, and he wants to be prepared with a resistant herd if that would ever happen. And while his farm is double fenced, he understands as do all deer farmers, that there are also other ways to spread CWD. John Ervin also already seen a tremendous shift in those desiring CWD resistance genetics in the amount of

Lancaster county wild deer #CWD tested #CWD positive 2012/2013 season 0% positive 2 0 2013/2014 season 0% positive 116 0

2014/2015 season 0% positive............ 52 .................... 0

2015/2016 season 0% positive 49 0

2016/2017 season 0% positive 52 0 2017/2018 season 0% positive............ 67 .................... 0

2018/2019 season 0% positive 296 0

2019/2020 season 0% positive 290 0

2020/2021 season 0% positive 245 0

2021/2022 season 0% positive 199 0

2022/2023 season 0% positive 202 0 2023/2024 season results still coming in with no CWD positives to this date

semen he sells, as well as his embryo and breeding stock sales. He has also heard first-hand from hunting ranches that while CWD resistance genes will not make a difference to hunters, it will make a difference for stocking preserves if CWD resistant deer lower the risk of bringing

the disease onto their property.

“Because of this, I believe we have the potential for a very bright future and great opportunities for our next generation,” he said. “I’m so happy to be sharing my passion with my wife Mary Ann and our five precious children, and to be meeting the genetic


Illinois Deer Farmers 2024 Convention

Illinois Deer Farmers 2024 Convention

A Moment with Publisher Kathy Giesen



In the deer industry, we are in the midst of my favorite months of the year, January - March. Many of you might recall that I like to refer to these months as “Membership Drive Months”. Several of the state associations we service have renewal dates in this time frame and our team is here to help promote. As I reflect back on 2023 and look ahead in 2024, I’d have to say that because of our Membership Drive in 2023, that it was “the best year yet” for our ever strong and growing deer industry. Last year, we were able to raise more than $5,000 worth of membership money to support 15 state associations. At most state association events, you will find our Multi State Booth, decorated in honor of every deer association we represent. That reminds me, I’d like to also give a warm welcome to Alabama and Ohio, the latest state associations to be taken under our wing, bringing our membership drive now to 17 state associations.

While it’s important to join and support your specific state association, you can also join others and in doing so, receive that state association’s magazine each quarter. What a productive way to stay on top of the latest trends or current events! This year, by joining four state associations from January - March, you were entered into a drawing for a very valuable and useful donation. Thank you, Lester Eicher of Springfield Whitetails, for a donation of one semen straw, of The Ace. More information to come on our winners for the 2024 drawings!

In addition to staying active in your association through your membership and event participation, is the renewal (or perhaps the beginning) of advertising in our magazines. Advertising allows you to establish your product or service and to remain front and center with those that need what you’re offering. Advertising has been proven time and again to be most effective when done consistently and regularly. When others consistently see your ad, they remember you and feel compelled to reach out when the time is right. It may not happen the first time, but can happen with regular advertising or perhaps the recognition remains mindful during sales and auctions.

Through our state association magazines, we offer a great service for getting your information out, interesting content and a really good product. We provide the connections necessary to keep you and your customers in the loop. I’m grateful for our team. Customer Care Representative Sam Uchytil, Journalist Gail Veley, Our Publishing Team and for our Shipping Associates that see to it that your magazines reach your mailboxes each quarter. We realize how blessed we are to be involved in such a great industry. And in the deer industry, we stick together!

It’s hard to believe things could get any better. Yet, we are never surprised when they do! Let’s all get excited for 2024 and for the adventures that lie ahead! And remember to renew your membership and advertising!! We are counting on you! Thank you!

Cell: 435-817-0150

Fax: 435-359-5333

deerassociations@gmail.com www.deersites.com

33 1


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The annual Chupp Auction and the Top 30 North and South Auctions not only provide opportunities to promote a farm or product, they are vitally important to keeping the enthusiasm for the deer industry going. The Chupp Auction, thought of by some as the “springboard” to Top 30 “encourages farms to put their best stuff in,” offers Ivan Hochstetler of Double D Whitetails in Dundee, Ohio. “It gives people the incentive to keep breeding ‘up’ with the best genetics they can afford and gets them more excited for Top 30.”

According to Whitetail Sales and Service co-owner Chris Ezell “we had a great turnout this year at Top 30,” he said. “We want everyone to realize how necessary it is to make time for events like these. This is almost as important as attending the annual NADeFA convention.”

Hochstetler, who has spent the last 14 years breeding deer, has been in the Top 30 North auction for the past 10 years, offering an auction lot of three bred does. “I’m extremely happy with what I got this year for my lot,” he said. “It’s very meaningful to be included. We are grateful to Kevin Grace who started it all.”

When Eddie Ray Borkholder and his wife Diane prepare to participate in the Top 30 North auction, loading up to come includes more than packing a suitcase and deciding which three of his treasured Patrick-line does will be sold. It also includes a production of baking “Fry Pies” started long before the actual auction date. “This year we brought 300 pies,” Eddie Ray said. “We give them away at our booth. It’s a half-moon glazed pie filled with blueberries, strawberries, coconut or apple. We never have any trouble attracting people to our booth. That’s one of the best things about auctions like Top 30. Meeting all the people who attend. A lot of the guys in it back then are gone and it’s a whole different group of people now talking about deer. We love it. We are very thankful to Kevin Grace and the Chupp brothers for starting these auctions, and to Chris Ezell and Lester Eicher for keeping it going.”

Like Hochstetler, Eddie Ray, who has been participating in Top 30 North since 2001, was also extremely happy with what his auction lot brought in this year. “The atmosphere of the auction and the excitement of bidding might entice someone to pay more for what you’re selling compared to if you

were just selling the same deer off of your farm,” Ezell said. “That’s another great aspect about being involved.”

Getting into the Top 30 as a consignor is not quite as daunting of a task as it might seem, Hochstetler, 67, shared. Along with the Top 30 North or South is also the Select 20, a secondary group of auction participants. Each year, the top five Select 20 auction winners take the place of the lowest Top 30 auction participants when the next Top 30 Auction North or South occurs. “This makes way for newcomers and encourages everyone to bring their best,” he added.

“Every deer farmer should do whatever it takes to be a part of these auctions,” Ezell said. Dates, times and places for each and every auction (as well as advertising deadlines) can be easily found by visiting https://www. whitetailsalesauctionllc.com, or talking with Eicher or Ezell. A percentage of the profits from auctions often end up being donated to a worthy cause such as nonprofit organizations that support hunting or land conservation.


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Alex Draper stood lost in his thoughts on a spring day in the early 1990’s.

As he studied a few very attractive bucks at the now late Ted Summer’s deer farm in northern Ohio with his friends Earl Souva and Gary Edwards, he was interested in making a purchase. “At that time deer farmers were selling does for $150 to $200 apiece,” Draper said. “Ted wanted $2,000 apiece for his doe fawns. He was a very knowledgeable guy, but that price was very high in our eyes.” Draper did not buy any deer that day from Summers, who would later produce Orange 2, Maxbo Ranger’s mother. “Looking back, it would have been a very good investment,” he said. “Her NADR number was 300. She had 11 offspring directly producing top animals.”

Good genetics, along with registries such as The Texas Deer Association (TDA) and The North American Deer Registry (NADR) “really allowed the industry to take off,” Draper, owner of DD Deer Farms in Clio, Michigan, explained. “You could see how the breedings were done for real not by ‘hear say’. More record keeping was being used and breeding crosses were being monitored to quantify the outcome. Today’s NADR numbers are in excess of 390,000 entries. My

lowest number is 499. Realizing the need to have good quality genetics and registered deer made a huge difference for me in my 35 years as a deer farmer.”

Realizing where his farm might lead him later, would have served Craig Frye of Spotted Acres in Battle Creek Michigan, well. What started as a small hobby farm in 2015 with his wife Karen for raising piebald deer, has grown into a full production enterprise along with acquiring partners, Anthony and Kelsey Klingler of Red Moon Whitetails. “Had I known where the deer industry was going to go, I would have gone to better genetics sooner, bred them differently right from the get-go and made better money quicker,” Frye shared. “I would have put in a handling facility sooner if I had only known then that piebalds would become just as valuable as whitetails.”

With the farm’s initial deer pen located right behind their house, looking back Frye would have laid the entire farm out totally different. “We put up our first pen without any intention of a handling facility,” he said. “It’s made it a little more challenging today to make everything flow to the handler and to get all the deer up in there.” Yet in realizing and rethinking certain aspects of starting their farm, the Frye’s will never regret getting started in the first place. “This has exceeded all of

our expectations. We now raise brown whitetails, too, and backed everything to piebalds this past breeding season. Hunters are becoming more interested in them and we are focusing on larger racks and bigger bodies.”

In focusing on sizable racks and substantial bodies, Draper feels the deer industry has gone through two or three major phases from merely using the best-looking bucks to the careful manipulation of good genetics to utilizing embryo transfer through A.I. The fourth or “next phase” is breeding for CWD resistance. “Most of the pioneers of the industry are long gone and new people have come into the industry and have taken their knowledge to build their herds,” he said. “They have seen the value of the super does and sires that the pioneers have created and validated, then taken them to a whole new level.”

“Knowing what I know today, the monies I have made, even more monies spent on this endeavor, I would have to think long and hard about getting into the deer business now,” Draper said. “But the 30-plus years of studying genetics, the many friendships of producers from across the county, the animals I have raised, and my family involvement has been worth every penny.”



The perfect sizzle for your early summer afternoons!


• 2 teaspoons seasoned salt

• ¼ teaspoon garlic salt

• ½ teaspoon black pepper

• ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

• 1 teaspoon dried oregano

• 1 ½ pounds venison, cut into 2 inch strips

• 4 tablespoons vegetable oil

• 1 medium red bell pepper, cut into 2 inch strips

• 1 medium yellow bell pepper, cut into 2 inch strips

• 1 medium onion, cut into 1/2-inch wedges

• 12 fajita size flour tortillas, warmed


1. Combine seasoned salt, garlic salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and oregano to make the fajita seasoning. Sprinkle two teaspoons of the seasoning over the sliced venison. Mix well, cover, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

2. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a heavy frying pan. Cook bell peppers and onion until starting to soften, then remove. Pour in remaining oil, then cook venison until browned. Return pepper mixture to the pan, season with remaining fajita seasoning, and reheat. Served with the warmed tortillas.

Do you have a favorite recipe? Email it to deerassociations@gmail.com for a chance to be featured in one of our magazines!

Please list the ingredients, linstructions, and include a photo or two! (Recipes don’t need to include venison!)

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The rules for sudoku are simple:

A 9x9 square must be filled in with numbers from 1-9 with no repeated numbers in each line, horizontally or vertically.

To challenge you more, there are 3x3 squares marked out in the grid, and each of these squares can’t have any repeat numbers either.

Fawn Bottle Milk Bucket Blanket Doe Planting Tractor Garden Fence Greenhouse Ranch Seed Vineyard Windmill Lamb Chick Calf Foal Piglet Answers to puzzles will be available in the next issue, or can be found on our website: www.deersites.com
Word Search

Answers to puzzles will be available in the next issue, or can be found on our website: www.deersites.com Coloring pages can be mailed to “Samantha Uchytil, 19291 59th St NE, New London, MN 56273” for a chance to be featured in the next issue!

Last Issues Puzzles ~ Answer Keys ~

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FREE business card ads for members of Upper Midwest Associations

If you would like your farm or business featured on our business card pages, email digital pdf file or scanned image (must be readable resolution) of your business card to the email address below.

This gives Upper Midwest members a way to reach out to one another for services and to buy or sell deer! There will be limited pages for these card spreads, first come first serve. The overflow would be placed in the next issue and cards will be rotated each quarter.

ILDFA: Lisa_shepard83@yahoo.com IWDA: adamhelgeland@gmail.com

MDFA: fierscott@gmail.com NDDRA: ryckman219@gmail.com

SDDEBA: jamesfam13@outlook.com

If you have any questions please contact: Kathy Giesen: 435-817-0150


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CitiStim®, an ADM proprietary feed ingredient, is a proven, truly unique, whole-cell, inactivated yeast product that may help the animal strengthen its defense against health challenges by supporting and optimizing gut function, gut integrity, and body defense responses.

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Buckaneer Package:*

44 ISSUES FOR 1 YR. (11 Publications x 4 quarters) - 17 State Associations

$180 / Issue ($7920. / Yr) ~ Full Page

$102 / Issue ($4488. / Yr.) ~ Half Page (55-59%Discountoff singleadplacement)

Doe-Re-Mi Package:*

16 ISSUES FOR 1 YR. (4 Publications of your choice x 4 quarters)

$204 / Issue ($3264. / Yr) ~ Full Page

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Yearling Package:*

4 ISSUES FOR 1 YR. (1 Publication x 4 quarters)

$238 / Issue ($952. / Yr) ~ Full Page

$130 / Issue ($520. / Yr.) ~ Half Page (40-48%Discountoff singleadplacement) Single Issue In Any Of Our Ten Publications: Full Page: $400.00 1/2 Page: $250.00

To Order Advertising, Contact Our Customer Care Representative, Samantha Uchytil at: deerassociations@gmail.com 320-905-2622 Fax: 435-359-5333 Find us on Face book: DeerSites * Quarterly recurring payment pricing available upon request www.deersites.com 435-817-0150
Multi State Magazine Advertising Pricing Guide
Advertising Packages~
NOW Publishing for 17 States
Illinois Deer Farmers
Elk Farmers Association
Iowa Whitetail Deer Association
Deer Association
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Association •
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Dakota Deer
Trophy Deer Association •
• Whitetail Deer Farmers of Ohio • Whitetails
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