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124   COMMISSION OF CONSERVATION

stocking parks and for venison may be made as profitable as that of any other live-stock industry, and that untillable land may be utilized as preserves for the animals.

Mr. R. H. Harris, a member of this committee, who resides at Clarksville Texas, was requested to contribute his views upon the raising of deer as an industry. He writes as follows:

"Having been actively engaged in this business for some years, I feel qualified to speak on the subject with clearness and conviction. I find that the Virginia deer is adapted to almost every section of the United States. It fawns in May or June of each year, each doe usually bringing two young. The young mature rapidly. Virginia deer are the most beautiful, graceful and healthful animals known. No other meat is equal to venison as a diet for the sick, it being easily digested and agreeing with the most delicate stomachs. The demand for both venison and skins is unlimited. The flesh, being in wide demand in cities, especially in restaurants and cafes, is very high-priced.

"These deer are easily tamed; the wildest fawns, if taken from the herd when young, will in a few hours become as gentle as a pet dog. I have for several years been raising them in large numbers. They run at will in woodlands and fields, are never handled, but fed occasionally, and are as gentle as a herd of common cattle. They are easily and cheaply raised and seldom, if ever, die from natural causes. After years of practical experience, I unhesitatingly state that the raising of deer is in profitableness second only to the raising of cattle.

"The cost of feeding deer averages about one-half cent each per day. They feed on all kinds of vegetables, buds, and leaves of trees, growing wheat, clover, peas, barley, oats, etc. Cotton seed is also a very cheap and satisfactory food for them. They also eat corn, bran, fruits and, in fact, anything that man or beast will eat, except dry hay. They live from twenty to twenty-five years. They are easily confined by a woven wire or barbed wire fence 6- feet in height.

"I strongly urge this Association to appeal to our government to protect and encourage the industry of deer raising, believing it to be one of the most profitable and practicable industries now in prospect for our people. It is unnecessary to urge the need of quick and energetic action, for this noble animal is fast disappearing and is without adequate protection. Its extinction would eliminate from our continent what ought to be an industry equal in value to the raising of cattle, hogs, or sheep; and I would urge upon this Association the importance of securing legislation that will permit the marketing of domesticated venison at all seasons of the year    "

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