New regulations by the Texas Parks and Wildlife put deer breeders in one of three categories based on whether or not any of their penned deer had been exposed to other deer that had been diagnosed with CWD at the Texas Mountain Ranch near Hondo.
Those sets of categories determined if a deer breeder could sell the animal and caused some confusion among buyers at the auction. Auctioneer Vance Runnels --
“When the news hit, we were struggling with what to do with our catalog. Because folks were unsure, they didn’t know what they were going to do. In that process we realized if we give them a little more time we’re not going to be able to mail the catalog, folks won’t get it on time before the sale, so the decision was made not to print the catalog before the sale," Runnels told the audience.
And while this season’s CWD panic may have caused a 20 to 30 percent drop in the price of deer others like David Grenier from the Perfect 10 deer breeder ranch near Junction have found a way to sell a product from the animal instead of the whole deer.
“You know a lot guys out here still want to breed and do artificial insemination so they will go ahead and do their breeding and buy semen. The bigger the deer produces, the healthier it produces the more the semen is desirable. There are so many bucks out there that are big right now and the semen on them may be worth a lot of money, it could be worth a couple hundred dollars or it could be worth $5,000. The question is how well it produces,” Greiner explained.
Like others Greiner was able to replace the deer he had been planning to auction with the sale of deer semen from some of his champion bucks. He says semen doesn’t bring in as much money but it also doesn’t contain CWD.