We built an enclosure of approximately 2 & 1/2 acres, fenced 8 feet tall and left natural. (overgrown) As always, we don't believe in a single animal habitat, everyone needs at least one companion, so we got another deer right away to be his buddy. While we tranquilizer a young deer with a dart rifle at a deer farm, it took off into the brush while the sedative took effect.
We traipsed into the woods trying to follow and were greeted by a full grown elk that we had no idea was there. We stood still as this girl was only about 5 feet from us and we had no idea she was friendly. We were on her territory. It could have turned out bad but this sweetheart followed us for twenty minutes until we found the fawn, fast asleep under a tree. We proceeded back to our truck, took the fawn home, reversed the tranquilizer and introduced her to Rudy. They definitely hit it off and have been pals ever since.
We often thought about the elk and what might happen to her. Would she end up on a hunting preserve? This girl, named Marie, did not have a mean bone in her body. Karrin contacted the owner of the farm who sells them to hunting preserves and he too did not want this for Marie for even though he is a hunter himself, he loved Rudy.
That Christmas he gave her to us to spend her life with Rudy and Venadda. Later, an albino deer would join the trio and was accepted as family. We chose to castrate Rudy as we are not into breeding more and were not into him killing us during rut season. You see, a male deer bottle raised looks upon humans as an equal and would have no fear of challenging us during rut.
The down side is their antlers require testosterone for proper development so Rudy never grows a good rack. Instead, he just has bumps on his head but we love him anyways. A normal deer can run up to 35 mph and I would be willing to bet Rudy is right up there on three legs! When he walks, he hobbles. When he runs, he runs smooth as a deer!!