Breeding deer for trophies and venison production
In 1989 our first red deer arrived at the Marquettepolder farm. They had been delivered by the late Gerald Walker from the Maplehurst farm in West Sussex, England. Gerald remained a friend ever since until the day he died. Today sika and fallow deer are also bred along with the red deer. Yet, these are actually pets and do not represent any commercial activity.
Decades of perseverance in his careful selection with a view to breeding better deer has been appreciated both by local and international customers. From the very beginning we have been paying attention to the following selection criteria:
- Frame, weight for age;
- Rusticity, which means for us: easiness of handling through quiet temperament, good resistence against parasite burden, and easy calving and strong fertility;
- Quality of the trophy, which we appreciate as the production of animals with heavy, wide and long antlers. We pay far less attention to the production of multipointers.
Bloodlines in our breeding programme:
We use exclusively bloodlines which have been successfully selected by hunters in nature for many years and which have consequently become famous because of the desirable genes they carry. Our master stags are direct descendants of several central European bloodlines, a Danish, a Swedish and an English one.
- Deer from the Schulte-Wrede park in former Eastern Germany;
- Deer from former Marshall Tito from Yugoslavia, now Croatia. These deer have specifically long, heavy antlers which are however rarely multipointed.
- Two stags from 2 different Hungarian bloodlines. Both are very heavy animals. One had 9 kilogrammes cut antler weight at the age of 4 years;
- The bloodlines from Jægersborg Dyrehave, the royal park near Copenhagen. This hunting park is known worldwide for its outstanding antler quality. It uses a bloodline in which sometimes a white deer is born;
- A Carpathian stag bought in August 2017 at the age of 3. When his antlers were cut, they weighed 10,5 kilograms, which is very heavy for that young age;
- End 2017 we bought 18 pregnant hinds from the enclosure of Franz Weber (Germany), whoms deer are known to carry heavy, stockish, multipointed antlers.
Where are we located:
Our Belgian farm, the Marquettepolder, is situated in Lapscheure (Damme) north of Bruges and just south of the Dutch border.
Our French farm is le Bois Clairet, Journet (Department Vienne), 30 miles east of Poitiers.
The latter is our main breeding farm for our red deer. It comprises 68ha, all serving as territory for our animals or as fields where we produce their winter feed.