The Antlers of Ocampo - Beautiful Sunday

in animals •  4 months ago 


My Share for #BeautifulSunday initiated by @ace108


Welcome back to another part of our adventure in the beautiful Bicol region in the Philippines. Last time we enjoyed a hot bowl of Kinalas and was also taken away the gorgeous view around the area. I have been wanting to see some animals in the region. I was told that there is a place where you could interact with the animals and it is just along the way. Today I will take you with me to see a farm in Ocampo, Camarines Sur. A place where you could see hundreds of deer grazing on a pasture just below Mt. Isarog. Spend a little time with me today as we visit Ocampo Deer Farm.


The Antlers of Ocampo





Follow our adventure in this beautiful region:


Part 1 The Long and Winding Road to Bicol


Part 2 Balatan Public Market


Part 3 Baresbisan Beach Resort


Part 4 Discovering Life by the Road


Part 5 Embraced by Nature "Hibiscus Camp"


Part 6 A Tranquil Afternoon "Hibiscus Camp"


Part 7 A Charming Mountainside Food Shack


 


Getting to the farm is just 17 minutes away from Hibiscus Camp and I would also suggest to make a stopover to enjoy a bowl of Kinalas first before going to the farm. If you want to know more about the Kinalas you could visit the link from our previous post. You could easily miss the road getting to the farm even though they have a sign. The road getting there is very narrow and I am not even sure if two vehicles could pass each other here.


As I was driving I was hoping that there would be no vehicles coming from the farm. Now I was sure that two vehicles would not fit unless one vehicle would drive on the dirt or grass. It would be difficult for us to drive off the road as the car we were using is not meant for off-road. The what I was worried about finally happened. A white pickup truck was coming from the opposite direction and there was no way for us to move aside. The pickup truck was kind enough to drive off the road instead to let us pass. I rolled down my window and waved at them to say thank you. they gave me two beeps of the horn in a gesture to say "You're welcome".


We finally reached the farm that is enclosed by a wire fence that goes around 5 hectares of land. From here you could already see the deer grazing in a wide-open space.


We asked if there is a fee to get inside the farm as it is very common here that there is always a fee. The man at the gate said that the entrance is free but we just need to take note of the rules posted at the gate.

Reminders

  • It is prohibited to litter inside and outside the deer farm
  • No entrance fee
  • No bringing of food inside
  • No bringing of large bags
  • No smoking
  • Refrain from causing too much noise
  • Do not hold the antlers of the deer
  • No trash
  • Do not cross past the visiting area
The farm is open from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm


As we entered dozens of deer were looking at us and I was little bit worried as some has very large antlers.


The farm stretches a 5-hectare grassland and accompanied by the cool temperature in the area. The deer seems to be very happy living in this wide-open space. Unlike the deer that we saw in a zoo that we visited which has only a small space to move around.



Around 60 deer were brought here in 1996 from Australia. People here have not seen a deer and were very amazed. The animals had no trouble adapting to the climate and since then their numbers increased to hundreds. They continually multiply until today.


The deer has become very friendly and familiar with humans. They tend to approach when people arrive and you are allowed to touch the deer on your visit.


The sharp antlers can be very intimidating and you have that feeling that you could easily get injured with all these antlers around you. But there have been no reports of injuries whatsoever.


One of the activities that you could do here is hand feed the deer. Although the entrance is free you would need to pay 50 pesos which is around $1.00 USD for a bunch of grass. Feeding the deer would be quite an experience and a bit scary as you would see later on. My mother in law didn't go inside the farm as she was scared of the animals and just stayed behind the fence to watch the deer.



We were given a bunch of grass and the moment it was handed over to us. The herd came rushing towards us and would surround you as long as you carry the grass.


Our guide ate Daisy got frightened and was shouting that she is being attacked. The boy inside the farm told her to calm down as the deer would not hurt her. Just feed the deer, it's the grass that they are after.



 


Finally, she was able to distribute the grass to some of the deer and the animals left her alone. It shows that her fright was replaced by happiness after a few minutes.


The deer has become very familiar with people and visitors are encouraged to interact with them.



This species is called the Rusa Deer and is a native in Indonesia and East Timor. They have been introduced to a lot of countries that include New Zealand, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Australia where the original herd was imported for this farm.


The antlers are harvested, used as ornaments and also made into medicine. Velvet antlers is the stage when it has not hardened yet but has a hairy form. There is a large market for velvet antlers as they are used in Chinese medicine, and dietary food supplement. The antlers are also dried and added as an ingredient in Chinese traditional soups.




Inside the farm deer poop are everywhere and it would be difficult to avoid stepping on them. Since the area is an open space the smell is not that bad in spite of all the droppings everywhere.


Since Christmas is getting near, I was told by the staff that there is a Santa Clause who visits the farm. He is called the Pacific Santa, wearing a red coat, big tummy, and a full beard. He comes by to feed the deer and it would be a treat if see him on the farm.


The antlers of the Rusa deer can grow very large and could almost look too big for the deer's body size. I thought that antlers and horns were the same but through research, I found out that antlers are made of bone. They fall off and grown new sets every year and plays a part in the mating season.




It was a great experience visiting the farm and we learned a lot in the process. It was like seeing a herd grazing in their natural environment because of the wide enclosure. It would be great to find a place in our country where wild deer would roam freely. Although much care is need first as to not disrupt the natural ecology of an area.



This ends our tour today in Ocampo Deer Farm. I hope you enjoyed the tour and please do leave some comments and let's talk about wildlife. Animals are a gift to us and we must remember to not abuse the gifts that we receive. We must teach the future generation to value and respect wildlife as it was given it can be taken away.

Hope to see you again on our next adventure. Until then enjoy the rest of the week and have a very #beautifulsunday.

 


 

Resources

Rusa Deer

Velvet antler

Official Page

Ocampo Deer Farm


 

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All photos are original and taken with

Lumix GX85 12-32 mm kit lens


and Sigma 50 mm

 








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What a wicked cool adventure, @watersnake101! We have deer that live in the woods behind our house, but I've never gotten a picture of one with antlers - you have some amazing captures of those! And I agree that animals are an amazing gift that should be valued and respected - great way to highlight that point with an awesome post like this!

Hello @traciyork the place where you live is very beautiful surrounded by nature with deer paying you a visit. I hope you keep your eye out if a deer with antlers drop by, could show up the least you expect it. I really appreciate that you liked the shots I took. I wanted to take a deer or two with me and hide them in the car lol. But for sure I won't be able to leave the farm if I do so lol. Wild life should be cared for as it is our and for our future generations.

Funny you should say that, @watersnake101 - my son and I were heading out to do some errands yesterday, and three deer (without antlers though) were hanging out at the bottom of our driveway. He stopped the car for a moment, and we watched them as they meandered back into the woods. I didn't get any pictures, but it was an awesome reminder of how amazing nature is. 😊


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Thanks for supporting our adventure.

I like this series of adventures you share. Keep adventuring!

I am glad you are enjoying the series. I appreciate it thanks.

Beautiful creatures in a place literally full of sh*t but I guess nobody mind stepping on it a bit since you mentioned there is no smell.

True literally full of sh*t lol. I wasn't able to ask what they do with poop if they turn it into fertilizer of something.

Wow, you documented the journey so well I don't even need to go there anymore. Must be taking quite some time to create this amazing post! =) They are really beautiful creatures. Thank you for sharing this awesome piece.

It really takes a lot out of my time. Just the sorting of photos takes some time already. I used to do a post everyday but it has taken a lot out of me. Knowing you enjoyed it makes me happy. Thanks.

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Beautiful and interesting post, with some great photos!!

Thank you very much. Thank you for taking time to visit my post.

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I am very grateful. Thank you very much. Will do my best to share more of our country.

It's cool there! I would like to visit))

I do wish you would get a chance to see our country.

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Uhhhhh... is your mother in law dressed in a deerskin?

Hahaha the pattern of the shoal she was wearing happens to be in the same shade of color of the deer. We were all joking about it that they might mistake her of being a part of the herd.

Another great post here my friend. I was surprised to see that the deer was imported from Australia, as they have no natural deer, but I saw that they got the deer from elsewhere. Santa will certainly have a great time there.
Blessings!

There is a local Philippine deer which is now endangered. I also haven't seen one as there are now rarely seen in the wild. I was a great experience seeing how they imported and propagated this type of deer. Thanks again my friend for enjoying my post.

So sad to hear whenever an animal has become endangered my friend.
As mankind we should be ashamed of ourselves.
Blessings to you guys!

Lovely to see herd of animals together like this @watersnake101 thanks for sharing.

@tipu curate

Yes I don't see a herd of animals too often in our country. Goats probably but not not as many as these deer.

Wow I didn't know about this place before. Perhaps we could check it out during our local travels. Thanks for sharing! 😉👍

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It is one place not to miss if ever you visit Bicol.

Beautiful post, so many great photos @watersnake101 I live near a subdivision that is trying to capture the deer to relocate them. The residents are upset because if they can't catch the deer, they just want to kill them. 😠

Why would they relocate the deer? It is nice to see wild life in an area. I assume the deer were the early residents there before they set up the subdivision. Seems unfair that they are getting kicked out and hunted down. Should find a way to live harmoniously with the wildlife.

Thanks for sharing my friend, I really like this post.

Well I am very glad you enjoyed it my friend.

Thanks my friend!

Wow these deer are much more lively that the ones my brother sent me today from his trip.

It is like a real live deer your brother sent you or is it for grilling? I do not know what deer tastes like as I haven't tried it before.

Yeah, my brother is a hunter. Deer is actually quite good. It tastes like gamey beef. Best in Stew. I know in the Philippines you have Bulao or water buffalo. That's quite tast,y too.

Can i please be the fly on your shoulder and travel with you, what a great trip and those shots oh dear wow love it thanks

I am really pleased that you loved the photos. I just wish I could take photos all day until my arms fall off. I wish I could carry you along in every journey but I promise I would give you a great experience in every episode. Cheers and have a lovely day.

wow! what a nice farm, of course many people will be amazed watching deer's since they're rare to find here in the Philippines.
By the way who owned that farm? Why it's free entrance?

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Hey there. Yes it is really hard to find a deer in the wild and I do not know if they even exist out there. About the farm as far as I know it is owned by the government as Ocampo is a municipality in Cam Sur. They get income by selling the antlers and by selling grass to tourists to feed the deer.

Thanks for sharing your tour of the farm. The deer are awesome and so nice to see people are able to interact with them without injury from the horns.

I was really a bit worried at start as the antlers are really sharp. Turned out the deer are very tame.

These deer are simply beautiful @watersnake! Do they plan to release some of the herd? Their numbers are quickly increasing soon the area will be full :) Although I know the deer are very docile it would be intimidating having them crowd around while you feed them. What a great adventure @watersnake101, thanks for sharing it with us today!

I asked the kid what they do to the deer. He said that they sell the antlers and deer meat. I believe that is one way of controlling the population. Overcrowding would not be healthy for the herd. Our guide was really freaked out when they surrounded her lol.

Today I ate a local delicacy from Philippines..
BALUT !!
Just yummy !!
That what I remember most about this beautiful country.. It's FOOD :)

Did you get to eat all if it duck and all lol. I have to admit I could not eat the duck fetus lol. Often I buy the "penoy" which is the balut without the fully developed duck. Pretty much you more of the yellow part of the balut in the penoy.

They tell me there are different stages of the ballet..
I've tried to ones which I can see the beak and part of the body shape.
Love it so much !!

This would be awesome!

I've never been to a deer farm, but I practically live on one. In rural Pennsylvania, we see deer regularly. And now that it's cool out, they're not afraid to run about. They often cross the roads in front of us as we're driving, so we have to go slower to keep watch. They are not necessarily watching for us, though sometimes they do.

Thanks for a great post!

Must be amazing to live in a place where the deer run free. Has there been major accidents involving deer crossing the road? Here in the Philippines the only animals that run free everywhere are dogs and cats.

There have been accidents. People hit deer all the time. I've seen them total vehicles with a single impact. We have a law that says if you hit a deer while driving and it's not hunting season, you can call the game warden and take it home with you. Meat for the winter. Of course, you have to have your car repaired so the deer meat can offset that expense.

Yesterday, my wife and I went for a walk. We were about half a mile from the house and saw a couple of deer grazing in a farmer's field. They just look at you and keep eating.

It is very fascinating how people live on different sides of the world. Must be a big deer to total a car during the collision. I'm thinking that a lot of vehicles there install bull bars to lessen damage to vehicles. You mentioned you saw deer grazing in a farmer's field. Hope they are not becoming too much of a problem for farmers.

The farmers build the deer into their business model. They lose so much per year on deer feeding, but they know that going in. And it's fairly predictable.

Yes, a good size deer can do some damage. My mother-in-law just spent $5,000 repairing her front end because of a deer. A lot of people just drive bigger vehicles. I hit one once driving a Suburban. A HUGE deer ran out in front of me, trying to cross the road, and I couldn't stop in time. I smacked him with my front grill. The only damage was a punctured radiator, which I noticed a couple of days later. The deer didn't walk away.

Haha what a brilliant day out in Ocampo Deer Farm! Love the transformation from terror to happiness on Daisy's face, "It's the grass they are after, not you!"

Great to know you made it through the single track road to the farm as well without having to drive your non-off-road car off-road there too! I hate it when situations like that start occurring as you have to assume the other driver is a prat in the UK!

Thanks for sharing the little adventure with us man!

It's my mother in-laws brand new car and it would get her furious if I drove it off the road hahaha. But that was a really hard situation not knowing if a vehicle is coming. We would have used my old Delica which is a 4WD but I am sure it would not survive the 12 hour drive. Cannot afford to break down in the middle of nowhere. I just use it going to work while listening to your mix lol.

Wow, I've never seen farms like that here, I hope I visit one some day. Thanks for sharing this lovely experience with us. May you have a great day!

Are you convinced to visit Bicol soon lol? There are still so many places that I missed.

What a great experience @watersnake101. I have never seen deer.

I am glad I was able to share with you the experience.