Branch Chairs Profile: Liz Love | Issue 195

Dec 14, 2023

Don and Liz Love

Although my background is in nursing and education my association with deer goes back to when my husband Don caught his first wild deer while possum trapping in the late 1970s. It was a young stag, “Number One” and became our foundational sire. Don invented a snare which increased our deer numbers into the teens and then we got investors which unbelievably enabled us to buy hinds from Gordon Branson’s first auction.

Roger Douglas changed our direction but by then we were committed to deer farming, leasing and then buying adjacent properties from a neighbour. A relatively small acreage meant we would struggle to be commercially viable with venison so with a passion for antlers, Don decided to go into stud breeding, investing in English, German and Danish genetics. Comprehensive performance records on all deer from Day 1 mean we remain confident in our breeding and we have produced some awesome stags and hinds over the years as well as some fine velvet. We tried auctions but found them too stressful so reverted to selling privately and today have satisfied returning clients.

Currently we farm 2 properties - our daughter Sharon (who established Tradedeer) manages young stock at Kaharoa and Don manages breeding and velvet production at Mamaku, making a great team. At one stage we had over 1200 deer but with regulations and growing older we now farm half that number, with velvet our main source of income.

Over the years I have been to many deer sales but my farm role has been more supportive with hands on when required. Now I regularly attend our AP group which has been going for several years, and meetings and workshops as they arise and that’s how I became chair of BOPDFA.

- Liz Love, Bay of Plenty Branch Chair

Continue reading DFA Stagline Issue 195, next: Tauranga’s Next Deer Farmers? >>


Back to Industry News