A seminar today in Slayton gives interested outdoorsmen the unique opportunity to get up close to trophy whitetail bucks.
Whitetail deer breeder Steve Porter of Lake Bronson will be on hand to show off a few of his live trophy bucks and give an informational presentation about the animal that is one of the main inhabitants in Minnesota.
The seminar will begin at 6:30 p.m. at the Murray County Fairgrounds, and is free and open to the public.
In the last two years Porter has toured 60 schools throughout the Midwest, bringing his unique seminar to educate both children and adults about the animal and nature. Deer farming is acknowledged in FFA as an alternative livestock farming.
"I thought it would be nice to bring my live trophy buck display to local schools," Porter said. "We've had a positive impact on students and encouraging them to enjoy the outdoors."
Porter started raising deer in 1992 after being frustrated by hunters in his area killing deer without giving them the chance to grow to trophy-size.
"I wanted to see bigger deer and I was having trouble with local hunters," he said. "They just wanted to shoot all the little bucks."
His frustration and desire to see trophy bucks on his property led him to fence in 100 acres and get a license from the Minnesota Board of Animal Health to raise whitetail deer. He has been studying and observing the deer ever since.
"It got addicting, and we've had as many as 60 deer on the farm," he said.
Porter keeps the expanded herd separated into two groups. One herd roams freely on a fenced-in, 100-acre nature area while the other, more tame herd is bred for breeding programs and are used in Porter's seminars.
In the past couple years Porter's children have got in on the business and have started bottling and selling doe deer urine to area hunters through the family's Website porterwhitetail.com. They freeze the urine soon after it is collected and send it to hunters so it arrives fresh.
"They've been selling every body they collect over three years," Porter said. "The hunters are having fantastic successes with the fresh urine."
During today's seminar Porter will discuss buck behavior, antler development and various hunting techniques.
"It's on how to become a better hunter and gives insight into the world of the whitetail to make you a better hunter," Porter said.
Three of his prize bucks will be on display both during and after the seminar. The live animals range from a 1-year-old 12 point buck to a 5-year-old 23 point buck.
"If you like whitetail you'll just love the display," Porter said. "If you're a wildlife enthusiast there are a lot of insights that can be picked up from the seminar."
In addition to the seminar the Lake Sarah Baptist Church Youth Group will be selling hot dogs and refreshments to attendees to raise money for new playground equipment.