You can be assured of the safest meat available when purchasing elk products from Rau’s Bugling Prairie.
Elk are raised behind fence in most states. They are considered to be livestock, no different than cattle. These elk are not being captured from the wild, but rather are sold from rancher to rancher from generations of domesticated animals. By keeping stringent records, and culling poorer animals, we are able to increase the best genetic traits in our herds. We are thus able to grow antlers that far surpass anything ever taken in the wild.
The elk industry is the most regulated of all livestock types in the state of South Dakota, and probably so nation wide. Here in South Dakota, we are under a mandatory inventory system. In this way, the Animal Industry Board has a very accurate control over the health of all of our animals. No animals are allowed in or out of our own fenced facility for any reason without a veterinarian’s health inspection, and a movement permit issued by the Animal Industry Board.
We are required by law to provide proof, of cause of death, of any given animal to the state board. Our entire herd is tested semi annually for TB and Bruccillosis, even though SD has been declared to be a state free of these diseases for years. Elk are also examined before and after slaughter to assure that they were healthy at that time also. Even though we have never had any issues with illnesses of any kind here on our ranch, nor any source of exposure to any problems, we still strive to provide proof of a clean and healthy herd.
Our herd has been in a CWD surveillance program for over 10 years, and has been declared as a Certified CWD Free Herd. Even though we believe that CWD is a naturally occurring disease found everywhere, and has been there forever, it still concerns many people. It is my belief that it is in no way a threat to anyone. Though there has been much propaganda released on this issue, there has NEVER been a documented case of a human becoming infected by CWD.
“CWD free” is something we can never achieve in a wild herd. Now that the wildlife agencies have begun looking for CWD in wild herds, it is being found in more places all of the time. This is making hunters a bit worried about where to safely hunt. Hunting on a private, “domestically raised”, elk ranch can give you back a sense of security, along with the ability to choose the hunting dates, type of animal you would like, and in most cases, be guaranteed success. You get all of this, without the hassle of waiting for lottery drawings, or state tag fees.
The elk industry nation wide has come together to help eliminate any disease issues in domestic herds, to insure the best and most reliable source of elk products to you, the consumer.