Can You Own a Deer in Alberta?

Whitetail Deer and Mule Deer are the 2 main deer species in Alberta. People have been hunting these deer in this part of the world for generations. It’s one thing to hunt them, but what about owning them?

Can you own deer in Alberta? You can own whitetail deer and mule deer, and farm them in Alberta. You will have to buy an annual Game Farm License, and your property must meet a number of requirements to be approved.

All About Deer Farming (Alberta Whitetail and Mule Deer Association

Other types of deer would be considered controlled animals, and can not be owned with a permit. A permit is usually given to professional wildlife management organizations such as zoos.

Some examples of deer species you can NOT own (without a permit) in Alberta include:

  • Musk Deer
  • Chinese Water Deer
  • Muntjacs (Barking Deer)
  • Tufted Deer
  • Fallow Deer
  • Axis, Hog, Bawean and Calamanian Deer
  • Sikas, Red Deer and Wapitis
  • White-lipped Deer
  • South Asian Deer
  • Sambar, Rusa and Phillipine Spotted Deer
  • Mouse Deer
  • Barasingha and Brow-antlered Deer
  • Pere David’s Deer
  • Marsh Deer
  • Pampas Deer
  • Guemals (Huemuls)
  • Brockets
  • Pudus
  • Caribou (Reindeer)
  • Roe Deer

Summary of Property Requirements to Farm Deer in Alberta

  • Must be at least 10 acres of privately owned land.
  • Fencing must be tall enough (and strong enough) to keep the deer in, and keep predators out.
  • A handling facility, which allows game animals to be restrained sufficiently to read registration ear tags or draw blood samples, must be constructed.
  • All the deer must be tagged and all inventory of the animals properly accounted for.

In Summary

  • You can own and farm whitetail deer and mule deer in Alberta as livestock.
  • There is an annual fee, and your property must meet certain criteria to be approved.
  • Other types of deer are controlled and can not be owned without a permit in Alberta.