States Where Deer Farming Is Legal 2022

States That Classify Deer As Wildlife

Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Missouri, Texas, Arizona, and Idaho

What does this mean?

The states that classify deer, elk, and other cervids as wildlife typically view these animals as permitted to hunt, but not to capture and breed. This classification means that most of the states listed do not produce as much meat and fur as states that allow captive breeding and farming of these animals, with the exception of Texas. Texas is one of the largest states, and therefore the meat and resources produced from only hunting these animals are still enough to provide one of the biggest markets. Although a rigorous hunting process needs to be undergone in order to maintain the biodiversity of wildlife, some states would rather consider these animals as livestock to better protect their interests.

States That Classify Deer As Livestock

Delaware, Maine, Vermont, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, North Carolina, Florida, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Nebraska, and Colorado

What does this mean?

In addition to Texas in the above list, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, and Michigan provide most of the U.S. Deer and Elk resources. This is due to the fact that these states consider deer "livestock" and are able to be sustainably farmed. This does not mean that they are more easily attainable, as the farming industry strictly regulates the treatment of these animals, especially on private farms. In general, the cervids are well-cared for. Most states adopt this principle as it helps them to regularly care for their animals and has a sustainable production quota throughout the year. It also increases the health and longevity of the captive cervids.

States That Classify Deer As Ambiguous

Rhode Island, Illinois, Arkansas, and South Dakota

What does this mean?

The states above have taken on alternative classifications for the captive deer industry. This means that no complete stance has been taken, and you are usually allowed to both hunt and farm cervids for sustainable resources. Interestingly enough, the above states do not produce much of the substance and other materials from their captive cervids, meaning the ambiguity in the definition is rather due to the absence of classification from infrequent hunting and farming of these animals.

States That Prohibit Deer (Cervid) Captivity

New Hampshire, South Carolina, Tennessee, Nebraska, and Wyoming

What does this mean?

The above states do not have a favorable stance on captivity for three different reasons: they view it as illegal, it is completely absent in the state or is not permitted entirely within the borders. This is difficult to interpret, as their classification could just mean that they view it as simple wildlife. The enclosure of these animals is either not permitted or not practiced. These states do allow hunting, however, but the illegal possession of a deer as a pet, for example, may result in fees, fines, and even charges brought before you.

States Where Deer Farming Is Legal 2022