College student wins $50,000 deer farm


By Darlene McCormick Sanchez

Lone Star Outdoor News

Derik Kubenka was just your average 20-year-old college student until last month. But in an instant, he became a new deer farmer via a live Facebook event.

Kubenka had entered the contest, like so many people do, not thinking he would ever be lucky enough to win. He signed up with his email after seeing it advertised on The High Road with Keith Warren.

So on the day it was supposed to be given away, Kubenka went online to watch the live drawing. He was a little late and didn’t hear the result, but suddenly saw his name.

“You never expect to win anything. I saw people saying congratulations Derik. I started getting nervous,” he said.

The contest, a joint venture between Warren and Texas Deer Association and sponsors, was designed to increase awareness of deer farming. The only stipulation for winning the contest was that participants must own land in Texas.

Kubenka was one of almost 3,000 people to sign up for the prize package, valued at $50,000.

The package consisted of:

°Materials and labor to construct up to a one half acre size deer pen to include one gate and 8-foot wire, provided by San Antonio Steel Company.

°One supplemental deer feeder from Thunder Valley Whitetail Feeders.

°Two tons of bagged protein deer feed to be picked up at the nearest Record Rack dealer.

°Two mature white-tailed does and two straws of semen provided by Texas Hidden Springs Ranch.

°One dart projector provided by Pneu-Dart.

°A one year membership to Texas Deer Association.

Kubenka said the operation will be set up on his parent’s 10 acres in Halletsville. He has always hunted and works on a ranch near his home, which gives him a good background to get started.

Warren said he decided to promote the giveaway to raise awareness for one of the best ways for small landowners to make money and help build deer genetics.

The signup of nearly 3,000 people exceeded his expectations, he said.

“What makes me really happy is he’s an enthusiasts. I’m excited because demographically, this is the best person we could have picked,” Warren said.

Patrick Tarlton, executive director of the Texas Deer Association, said the contest went extremely well. The idea was to get the word out that for small acreage farms, deer breeding could be one of the most profitable businesses in agriculture today.

“Sometimes people think it’s really hard to get into the deer industry. We put this out there. It was pretty exciting for us. This exceeded all our expectations,” Tarlton said.