Exotic Game in Texas
Venison and other wild game was man's only source of red meat until a few species of animals were domesticated. It still offers the most natural and nutritious meat available. Low in fat and subsisting on a natural diet of herbs, browse, and native grasses, it is healthful as well as flavorful. As a result of "market hunting" by early settlers, America has taken steps to ensure the long-term viability of our native game animals. Texas Parks and Wildlife has the responsibility to manage our native deer and other wild game species to provide future Texans the opportunity to enjoy them.
Over 50 years ago, Texas ranchers introduced the first "exotic" deer and antelope to Texas. Beginning with only a few animals, they have multiplied to the point where selective harvesting of these non-native species is necessary to maintain a balance between our native wild game and other livestock competing for the same food supplies. It is from these non-native deer and antelope that Broken Arrow Ranch venison products are produced. All harvesting is done under full inspection by the Texas Department of Health.
The term "exotics" may be thought of in a negative way, but we are almost totally dependent on non-native species of plants and animals for our food sources. Cattle, sheep, goats, and chickens are all "exotics" as are most of the plants and fruits we depend on for sustenance. The challenge we have is managing the balance of resource use to ensure an abundant food supply while protecting the viability of our native wild game. As we continue to stretch our limited resources to satisfy all of these needs, the importance of non-native deer and antelope may increase. "Exotic" deer and antelope require much less water and care than cattle and utilize more efficiently the biomass of marginal and arid land. The novelty of venison today may become a necessity tomorrow to feed the world's population.