Can Deer Be Domesticated?


One question many people have is whether it’s possible to domesticate a deer. To answer this, some may think that so long as the animal has been born in captivity, then they can be domesticated, while others say that you need to find an already-tamed wild creature if at all possible for your own safety and theirs. So, can deer be domesticated?

Well, the answer is yes, and no. No, because they can be very dangerous, and it’s illegal in some states. And yes, because some people keep them as pets since they can be tamed.

It would seem plausible enough to try with a captive-bred fawn, but there are downsides here too. One being how much work raising them might entail; another being what kind of monetary investment could go into keeping these animals around or dealing with their corpses when necessary (they’re not going to live forever).

With regards to finding tame creatures instead of trying anything yourself. Well, taming any wildlife is challenging.

To completely clear your mind and decide whether you can try and domesticate a deer in your home, consider reading through this blog post for more information.

Is It Legal To Domesticate a Deer?

It is illegal to domesticate deer in the majority of states in the United States. This is due to the high number of reported cases of animals injuring people.

However, some states do not have laws that regulate the domestication of wild animals. These states are North Carolina, Wisconsin, Nevada, and Alabama.

Can Deer Be Domesticated?

Can Deer Be Confined?

A deer can only be confined if you have a permit. However, if you confine them, there is a likelihood that they’ll get sick. Deer generally require ample space where they can roam and feed freely.

Can Deer Be Farmed?

There are many deer farms in the world. In fact, most of the venison you see at your local store is raised on a farm, as selling hunted meat would be illegal. So, yes, deer can be farmed. But then again, it depends on where you are. In California, for instance, deer farming is illegal.

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Requirements for Domesticating Deer

Can Deer Be Domesticated?


Domesticating deer takes a lot of space. The land needs to be open and free from obstacles for them to graze comfortably, so it’s not just about food when considering where you want your herd or flock. You should also make sure that there are plenty of trees on their property since they like shade during hot summer days and usually prefer forested areas with lots of water sources nearby.


There are many foods you can feed deer as a substitute for their natural diets. Deer pellets and cereal grains offer high protein levels; hay or alfalfa is typically the most affordable option but may be harder to find. At the same time, fruit & vegetables provide other nutrients that your animals need to grow healthy bones and muscles.

Keep in mind that deer won’t take new food immediately after you give it to them. They need some time to adjust to the new diet. Just remember never to feed them with fat and carbs as it can cause illness or even death.

3. Fencing

Always consider choosing a fence with small rectangles or squares to protect them from any potential harm from predators. You will also be able to control their offspring with ease.

For the perimeter fence opening, always use quality gates with a pedestrian walk-in-through. Make the fence about 8 feet tall to contain the herd well, and prevent them from jumping over.

Most Common Species of Deers That Can Be Domesticated

Here are some of the most common deer species that you can consider for breeding:

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Sitka Deer

Sitka deer are a type of animal that can be domesticated. After being taken to different places, they have become both game species and ornamental. The spots on the Sitka deerwill disappear once it becomes an adult, but its lifespan is about 25 years.

Not only do these animals need socialization with other members of their species when kept alone- but this also requires plenty of attention from humans to prevent them from turning into rambunctious monsters who can no longer stand human contact (unless you want your house turned upside down!)

Muntjac Deer

Muntjac deer are a few species of animal that can be kept as house pets because they reach a size comparable to a medium-sized dog. Unlike other deer species, Muntjac Deer are kept for – being compact, clean, and well-mannered enough to live in the home of ‘tolerant’ pet owners.

These animals have susceptible scent glands on their heads that they like to rub against people’s hands or clothing to mark them with their unique odor. They enjoy human contact so much that these gentle creatures will often lick visitors’ faces.

Many circus owners keep Reeve’s Muntjacs because they’re not afraid of humans when other exotic pets might be terrified by spectators.

Axis Deer

If you’re looking for a tame deer, the Axis Deer is probably your best bet. This species can be found in Texas, where they thrive on ranches due to their disease-resistant tendencies and natural preference of fresh vegetation over shrubs which provide additional nutrients.


As the most domesticated of all deer species, reindeer have a long and storied history. They are perhaps best known for their role in Christmas traditions- from Santa’s sleigh to Rudolph’s nose- but they also play an integral part in Arctic culture as herders’ mounts.

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Also called caribou, these deer populations don’t have high maintenance. But they still require proper care.

White-Tailed Deer

White-tailed deer are a native species of North America. They often thrive in areas where human habitation encourages their population due to easy access to food resources such as gardens or ornamental plants. So if you’re wondering which type has been feeding off your garden, it’s probably the white-tail!

This tendency for living among humans has produced some exciting animal behavior adaptations over time which can be observed today.

They, however, may turn out to be dangerous and are known to attack people during the rut.

Fallow Deer

Fallow deer are an exciting type of ungulate – both males and females have antlers. But only male fallows grow them as their primary form of defense against predators such as wolves or bears.

Follow deer were domesticated back from the 11th Century when people began to keep herds for food rather than relying solely on wild game populations, which had been hunted nearly into extinction by this point.


It’s a common misconception that deer cannot bond with humans. But this couldn’t be further from the truth as they are considered dangerous, a reason why it is illegal to domesticate them in most states.

However, deer have been known to form close bonds with people, especially when they are young and not yet threatened by hunters. In North Carolina, Wisconsin, Nevada, and Alabama, domestication of deer is not illegal, but it’s necessary to meet their food, space, and security requirements.

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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>