Lone Star Adventure: Rio Rojo Rancho - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

Lone Star Adventure: Rio Rojo Rancho

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It's deer hunting season in Texas and in this week's Lone Star Adventure we meet a Texas rancher who has made it his business to raise trophy deer. FOX 4's Richard Ray takes us north and east to Red River County and Rio Rojo Rancho.

Mike Ford represents a new breed of Texas rancher. On his ranch, the livestock are trophy white-tailed deer. The one time Southern Methodist University and National Football League quarterback is breaking new ground as a deer breeder.

Big bucks with handsome racks and does with good bloodlines go for thousands of dollars. Ford says their process of enhancing the herd is no different than a cattlemen putting a new bull on his pasture of cows to raise better calves.

A couple times of year, Mike rounds up does and fawns and drives them into a chute system of his own design that allows him to work individual animals without darting and sedating them. He vaccinates, medicates and tags the deer for identification. The goal is to have the animals in and out as quickly as possible to avoid stress. It's the same kind of chute system cattle ranchers use but adapted for smaller, wilder and more unpredictable animals.

The deer breeding business is a major portion of Ford's business. He also offers package hunts and lodging on the other side of the ranch. All harvested deer are eaten.

For more information please visit Rio Rojo Rancho's website.

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