Thursday, August 28, 2014

Rolling Hills Red Deer Farm

Brianna and Tori, ready for the tour
If there's one thing I've learned over the years about entertaining children and grandchildren, it's to FIND ANIMALS.  If you take them on any adventure that involves live animals, THEY WILL LOVE IT.  

And so we found ourselves looking at some very big game this time.

The Rolling Hills Red Deer Farm in Catawissa, Pennsylvania raises over 400 red deer on 200+ acres of rolling landscape.  Upon arriving we purchased $1 buckets of apple and oat treats.  Then grandtwins Tori and Brianna and I climbed up into a tractor-pulled wagon and took a fun-filled and educational one hour tour to see the deer.

There were so many photo opportunities during our tour.  Babies nursing, males clashing, and a female who snuck her way into the male pen before the gate fully closed.  A number of the deer knew how to come up the back steps and stick their heads into the wagon to get treats right out of our hands.  Those deer are eager to be fed by hand and actually came running to the wagon to get their yummy treats.

Our tour guide began with some educational facts about red deer and their antlers.  We learned that the venison is naturally raised with no antibiotics or growth hormones.  Because it's high in protein and iron, but low in fat and cholesterol, it's a perfect choice for anyone striving for healthy living.  Red deer venison is also high in vitamins B6 and B12.

First, our wagon took us into the females' and babies' pen:

Since we were visiting in the earlier months of the summer, many babies had been born and the stags' antlers were almost fully grown.  As you will see in the photos, there were plenty of very impressively sized antler racks.  They were all still in the velvet stage, and we were able to touch a few of them when they came to snack at the wagon.  By later in August, though, most stags will have lost the velvet to show hard antlers.  Later, in early Fall, the stags begin to roar and fight to show their dominance.

Feeding the mommas and their young ones:

And now, heading into the stags' pen.  Warning:  photo overload ahead.  I kept seeing larger and more impressive racks, and couldn't stop myself from snapping away.  Some of these stags are MASSIVE.

Our guide pointed out several stags that had one-of-a kind antler formations.

At the end of the tour, we were dropped off back at the beginning, right next to the Gift Shop.  Various cuts of venison, as well as snack products such as jerky and bologna sticks were available for purchase.  Of course the girls wanted to give venison a try, and so we bought some bologna sticks which they devoured and announced "were great!"

Is it any little bit obvious that these girls loved this adventure?


  1. Wow, beats any deer I have ever seen in the woods. My Dad shot a buck in Pennsylvania that the game warden said he could claim 37 points but dad said he only claimed the big tines and that was eighteen. And I thought that was huge until your post.

  2. Very obvious - and they are adorable! Cuter than the deer for shur' and I find the deer that inhabit our backyard [literally they live here] to be really cute too.

    You're a good grandma. Everyone should have a grandma like you. :)