Best viewed larger!
Deer farming originated in New Zealand, and this country remains the world’s largest and most advanced in this specialized agricultural pursuit.
There are more than 4,000 deer farms in New Zealand, ranging in size from small hobby farms to extensive commercial operations. On these farms are approximately 1.8 million deer, or half the world’s farmed deer population. This figure includes an estimated 1.2 million female deer (hinds or cows) and 600,000 stags and bulls.
Deer are not native to New Zealand. The first deer were imported from England and Scotland for sport in the mid to late 19th century. The deer were released mainly in the Southern Alps and its foothills in the South Island. The environment proved to be ideal. By the middle of the 20th century, deer were regarded as pests because of their impact on the environment and native forests.
The export of feral (wild) deer started in the 1960s, turning a pest into an export earner. Industry pioneers saw an opportunity in the early 1970s to build on this base by capturing live deer and farming them. A new industry was born and rapidly spread throughout Rural New Zealand.
Taken along a rural road near Alexandra New Zealand
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ35 Oct 31st 2010