Isaac Bonine, of Niles, Mich., breeds both elk and Virginia deer, and has had thirty yews' experience. He prefers elk because they re-quire less care than deer. Elk winter well on hay and corn fodder with a small amount of grain and thrive in summer on blue-glass pasture. While deer do reasonably well on the same food, they thrive better when fed vegetables and in that latitude require some sort of winter shelter. An elk requires no shelter. While Judge Bonine has doubts as to the profit of growing deer and elk for the venison, he thinks that breeding them for par k purposes can be made very remunerative. He has a number of elk for sale.
G. W. Russ, of Eureka Springs, has a herd of 34 elk. They have abundant range in the Ozarks on rough lands covered with hardwood forest and abundant underbrush. He reports that the animals improve the forest by cleaning out a part of the thicket. Fully 90 per cent. of the females produce healthy young, and Mr. Russ thinks he could make the business of growing elk for market profitable, if the law would permit him to kill and export domesticated elk. He has an offer of 40 cents a pound for the dressed carcasses in St. Louis. He thi.,ks that large areas now unutilized in the Alleghanies and Ozarks might be economically adapted to produce venison for sale and he regards the elk as especially suited for forest grazing. They should have about twice as much range as the same number of cattle.
J. W. Gilbert, of Friend, Neb., has been raising deer and elk for seventeen years. He has at present 30 deer and 16 elk on prairie pasture. He regards elk as the more profitable and has never had a barren cow elk.
T. J. Wilson of Lewisburg, Ohio, began r aising deer and elk a few years ago, with three head of each at the start. He has not succeeded so well with deer as with elk. Deer require a higher fence and more care. Elk do well on hay, corn fodder, and rough feed, and if they escape from an enclosure may be driven back like cattle. He originally paid $165 for two adult elk and a fawn. He has sold $300 worth of stock and has now a herd of 12, worth a thousand dollars.
Your committee has the names and addresses of about a dozen other successful breeders of the American elk, but the time at our disposal did not permit our obtaining particulars of their experience.
BREEDING THE VIRGINIA DEER
Testimony as to the hardiness of the Virginia deer and the profits of breeding them is not so unanimous as it is concerning the wapiti; but the general opinion is that with suitable range, plenty of good water, and reasonable care in winter, the business of growing the animals for