We motored up the lower slopes of Mt. Isarog in Ocampo, passing by hectares of fields. After four kilometers from the main road and taking a detour instead of heading directly to the Concosep area, we arrived at the Ocampo Deer Breeding Farm.
The deer farm, owned by the local government, was established in 1996 within a five hectare lot with 60 heads of an Australian species. Today, with more than 300, the deer is mainly bred for the venison market (deer meat), skin and hide for leather goods and antlers for decorative as well as medicinal purposes.
It was the closest I had with encountering deer, albeit not in their native habitat. I’ve seen native species before but in cages in Davao and some other zoos. Here, you can observe them as well as feed or pet as some are friendly and do come close to people.
The area itself is beautiful and being at an elevated portion, cool and breezy. It’s just near the forests of Mt. Isarog too.
GETTING THERE The Ocampo Deer Farm is located in Brgy. Sta. Cruz, Ocampo, Camarines Sur. Take a minibus bound for San Jose, Goa, Tigaon or Sagnay at the Naga City bus terminal and tell the driver or conductor to drop you off the intersection of Ocampo in Barangay Sta. Cruz, a few kilometers after the municipal town proper. From there, hire a motor or habalhabal to the deer farm. Tell the driver to wait.