use elk antlers to create jewelry, knife handles,
spectacular chandeliers, and furniture and many other
hard antlers are some of the most desired trophies in
bull is valuable for several products at different
stages of his life:
quality of his genetics and productivity of his progeny
are well above average, he may serve as a breeding bull
from the age of one - a spiker - until he is fifteen
years old in some individuals.
quality is best from age two to five.
antler (EVA) production is optimum from age two to
bull reaches maturity, and he is at his prime for Hard
Antler Trophy production, a producer may choose to
harvest that bull for his trophy value. Most often, this
will be done on a CHP - a Cervid Harvesting Preserve,
where clients can seek the trophy they desire, and
harvest that bull in a safe and humane fashion. This is
a preferable alternative in many ways to slaughter in an
abattoir, not least of which is the significantly
greater financial return the producer and the
surrounding community realizes. How significant can this
Preserves are a Boon to Local Economy
Compiled and written by Ian Thorleifson
would it mean to your town if someone built and operated
a CHP nearby? What is a CHP? CHPs are Cervid Harvest
Preserves areas of private land preserved in their
natural state and used to provide opportunities to
harvest privately- owned elk and deer. There has been a
lot of discussion about the idea lately, with many names
used in the discussion CHP, hunt farm, penned hunting.
After all the discussion, everyone agrees that harvest
of farm raised animals on a CHP can be humane and
efficient. Can it also be a benefit to the local
are currently operating in Saskatchewan, Ontario and
Quebec, the United States and in many countries
throughout the world. CHPs in Saskatchewan are well
established and highly profitable, and these operations
are probably the best models to look at for Canada.
owners of a CHP from northwestern Saskatchewan have
agreed to provide some real numbers for the 2001
operating year, on condition we do not use their names:
Income: 80 bulls harvested per year, average $8500.
CDN = $680,000. gross.
One time establishment costs:
$200,000. to build the Lodge, and $90,000
for the fence, both of which are owned by
independent contractors all construction
labour and materials were locally sourced
Landowner receives $8000. annual rent, plus
grazes cattle for 3 months
$1400 per bull marketing - $72,000 annual total
to the Booking Agent (lives in Alberta)
$1500 per bull to Lodge operator, who employs 6
people during the season as cooks, cleaners,
guides, and trophy and meat handlers.
Lodge operator buys all groceries and supplies
Transport to CHP averages $100. per bull -
handled by a local trucker
Additional expenditures by clients:
After harvest, a local abattoir cuts, wraps,
makes sausage and jerky - $500. per bull.
Meat is shipped to the client by air cargo
About half of the clients take the head and
antlers to a local taxidermist he charges
from $500. to $3000. for a mount. This one
CHP provides half his income
Many clients travel with their rented cars
to go fishing, tour the mountains, shop at
the West Edmonton Mall or do other tourist
things before they fly home.
worth of business activity for this CHP per year, with
one third going to the elk or deer producer, and a large
percentage spent on other suppliers, most of them local.
We can also estimate that about 25% of that gross
revenue is paid in taxes to various levels of
small towns in Canada would welcome such an enterprise
Thorleifson is a freelance writer living in Minnedosa,
at 204 867 3527 or