Sometime it isn’t fun being “The Deer Lady”

August 17th, 2012

Hi.  This season has presented us with some challenges.  Lots of  customers unfamiliar with what we do.  Number one problem, “why do I have to pay?” ”  My standard reply is I have to eat and so do my deer.”  I am not being sarcastic.  Why would people think that when you have business it would be FREE.  It took us a lot of hard work to build everything that is here, plus we have to maintain it and take care of our “special deer family”….

Second comment, “You just took these deer out of the woods, right?”  Wrong…. we either buy our deer from other deer raisers or they are born on our farm.  Why would this animal park be any different than any other zoo.  

Next. “If we pay today can we come back tomorrow with this stamp to feed the deer?”  NO.  Our hand stamp is good for one day, the whole day…Not the next day.  As my husband says if you eat a meal in restaurant one day and come back to eat again, you have to pay for that next meal.  It is not free.  As one TV reporter put it, they don’t have anything tangible in their hand so they don’t understand paying for it.  Well what you do have is a lifetime of memories.  Petting and feeding a deer.  Watching a big buck make a scrape or affectionately wash another deer. To me that is priceless.  Take the time to enjoy it.

Which brings me to the next complaint, “Well how long is this going to take me?”  As long as YOU want it to.  We  suggest don’t come here in a rush or on schedule.  Walk around enjoy the woods, enjoy the deer, enjoy the playground, enjoy the museum.  You are on vacation for heaven’s sake….

And last but not least, this year, lots of customers whom we have met before thinking they should get in free because they know us.  I would never expect to go to someone’s business and not pay for the service that they provide.  We have met a lot of distant “relatives” ect. who just assume everything is free to them.  Think again.  It should be our decision not yours whether you pay admission or drink our pop ect.  OKAY so now I have vented.  Which is what my blog is all about.  Thanks for listening.


Spoiling my deer.

The deer lady with some friends.

New Season for Hope.

May 10th, 2012

deer lady at Laurel Highschool sports show.

Hi, this winter I was busy with several sport shows.  I worked booths at The Eastern Sport Show in Harrisburg.  It was The  PA Wilds booth and I met lots of deer lovers.  Then I did the Clarion County Outdoor show, at the Clarion Mall.  The East Brady sport show in Brady’s Bend at the Pa Great Outdoors booth. Then my usual fun evening at The Laurel Highschool Sportsman’s night out.  All in all I did several seminars, learned a lot and decided fans of the outdoors are not going away anytime soon.  Thanks for all the encouragment.

We are opening this May for our 23rd season…(and they said it wouldn’t last..)  May will be weekends only, but then our usual 7 days a week will begin after that.  My husband has some health concerns we need to address and then we should be full speed ahead… Looking forward to doing tours, bottlefeeding fawns and visiting with everyone.  Hope to have a positive season.

What do you do every day?

July 8th, 2010

Hi, When people email me or stop in at the ranch, they ask what a typical day at the deer ranch is like.

So the day described has no meetings, no salesman, no tv crews or no building projects. (which all happen from time to time.)

  My husband Shorty and I take turns with the fawns.  Since he is a early riser he does the 6 a.m. bottle.  I usually get up by 7a.m.  First I feed all  5 cats.  Then I usually make toast or cereal sit on the patio and have breakfast with the cats.  I take a walk around the fence and converse with all the deer and give them apples.My husband Shorty feeds them alfafa hay, roasted soy bean corn and dairy balancer pellets.

  Then I get the shop ready for opening and do the dishes.  Wait on customers, along with my step daughter Lisa.  Then we do the noon bottle for the fawns. The fawns drink Milky Way calf milk replacer.  The customers can help.  We then love up the fawns, then come in and wash bottles.  Work on any on going painting projects. (we are still doing stuff with the golf).  Or mow the lawn inside or outside the fence.  I love to mow.

Everyone loves "treat time"

Everyone loves "treat time"

 Wait on customers till 6 p.m. bottles and treat time.  The best time of the day.  We take out buckets of cut up apples, pass them out.  Then we go in the fence and bring the deer over for the customers to pet and feed. It usually takes about an hour to make sure everyone got their treats. Then I come in and my husband watches the desk while I cook supper.  We close around 8p.m. 

 Then we go out to take some pictures, and make a fuss over the deer.  I watch 1 tv program. Shorty usually goes to bed and  then I do the 10 p.m. bottle.  Some nights I do an extra trip around the fence. Then I check my email and hit the sack.  Some nights Lisa stays over night with the grand kids and we have cookouts, or play board games.  We go back in the fence for extra play time with deer.  Some nights we even camp out.  Not too exciting , but I love every minute of it.

Taking Fawns out of the Wild

July 20th, 2009

Attention: It is illegal to take a fawn out of the wild.

No, the mother did not abandon it. Mothers never lay with their fawns. They put them in good hiding places and check on them many times of the day. They are good at hiding so predators do not find them.

Mothers may be watching as you pick up their baby. It is not true that the doe won’t take the fawn back after you have touched it. The mother will stay in the area up to 3 days looking for her lost fawn.

So take it back to the exact spot you got it so she may find it.

If you see the mother has been hit on the road do nothing with the fawn. Because of new laws even rehabilitators are not allowed to care for the fawn . If you bring it in, you are guaranteeing a dead deer.

Please understand that private deer raisers have rules to follow from 3 places: The USDA, The PA Game Commission, and the PA Department of Agriculture. None of them allow us to have deer from the wild. Our deer are either bought from other licensed deer raisers or they are born at our ranch. So please do not try to bring us deer, as we cannot take them.

And please do not try to raise one yourself. There is a $200.00 fine for this – and the fawn will then be destroyed anyways.

Thank you for your cooperation. Rusty (the deer lady)