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  • Writer's pictureRyan's Outdoor Media

Amish family with big deer January, 1st 2022

It is no surprise to us that trophy deer are all over Ohio!. Ohio deer ranches boast big racks and giant bodies that just make you want to go hunting right? How many of us know where these big racks came from though? What if I told you that the Amish started this back in the 70s. What if I told you that an Amish guy was raising deer and selling them to his neighbors as pets and this grew into a huge money maker for him. Well that is all correct in a way.

A guy by the name of Abe Miller was the one selling deer to his neighbors. This went from $75 a deer for people to raise and admire to $7500 for his yearling buck that sprouted 13 points. Yes he definitely was doing something right. He would sell that deer to a Texas deer farm and from there the rest is history. The Amish have made a big impact on deer farming and they do it well all across Ohio and Indiana.

According to research there are about 500 Amish deer farms across the state of Ohio alone. They are selling deer to ranches everywhere. In 1983 Abe would breed a doe named Nanny and she would have one of the biggest bucks come from her bloodline ever seen. We can say it was ever seen because in 1983 deer farming was still new. No one was raising whitetails until Abe started selling his deer. Soon after that the market would skyrocket and deer farms would start popping up everywhere. Yes the Amish were the ones to start this.

In 1990 the deer farming industry would go from a hobby to a all out full blown industry. Deer farming was the new thing! People from the city would visit these farms and pay big dollars to shoot a giant buck. Soon people from all walks of life that wanted to shoot a trophy whitetail would come visit these farms. Nowadays these farms range from mom and pop places where you hunt yourself and it's more of a self driven hunt to places where they have 5 star resorts and big shacks to set in. The diversity is so immense when it comes to these farms.

Why would someone want to go to a ranch and shoot a deer? I'm sure that's what Abe was thinking too. Well for some people, a big whitetails just isn’t around us. Some people live in city limits and don't have access to property or know the right people with the property. I know some people that have hunted whitetails their whole life but just want that trophy on the wall so that's why they go. There are many different reasons and I don't judge anyone for it.

It's not just about the big racks for the Amish community in Ohio though. You ever see the big ranches where they have antler chandeliers and wonder where those racks came from that made that. The lamps you see in some stores are made of real antlers. Yes the Amish started utilizing these pieces a long time ago. Anything from pens, lamps to knife handles. The Amish have been making these handmade items from antlers and selling them all around.

People soon realized that using antlers alone to make a business was only the beginning, doe urine was also something they started selling. Yes there is a market for doe urine as many hunters know and they have used that to their advantage. The venison can be sold to meat shacks all over to make jerky from and other specialty meats. Basically any part of this business that could make money, people capitalized on. You could say the Amish opened up the world of deer farming and everything that came along with it.

We have come a long way since the 1970s and the first deer Abe bred but when you think of it all these giant bucks out there at deer farms are more than likely descendants of his deer. Hey you can't blame them for it. They found a way to become successful and they took it. So hats off to you Abe Miller and your friends in Ohio for growing some giant trophy Ohio whitetail bucks.

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