Deer Farm in Bicol – Ocampo, Camarines Sur
Getting near a real deer as if you’re some kind of a Santa sidekick is fun. Getting near a herd of this horned animal is not only convivial, but also magical!
At the foothills of Mount Isarog is a 5-hectare sanctuary of antlers – yeah, that expansive – called Ocampo Deer Farm. It is a place where you can hold, feed, and interact up close with hundreds of deer. You can see them prancing, leaping, and running free in the vastness of their shrine. They are pretty to look at as they wander around the large, open pasture. If you’re lucky, they will even enclose you in picture-perfect photos for everyone to admire. Such lovely antlers they are!
SHORT HISTORY OF THE BICOL DEER FARM
Ocampo Deer Farm was established in 1996 by the local government of Camarines Sur for commercial purposes – venison market (deer meat) to be more specific. Their skins are converted to leather goods, and their crowns (antlers) are harvested to be used as ornaments and other medicinal purposes. (Barbaric!)
A kinda grim situation they are in, isn’t it? “Sanctuary” is actually not an apt term to use when describing the place, don’t you agree? It’s pretty sad to think about their future there. Still, maybe, just maybe, we can find solace on the idea that they were just around 60 heads of different Australian species once upon a time and now they have grown to several hundred, and people from different walks of life are given equal opportunities to interact with them.
HOW TO GET TO OCAMPO DEER FARM
Address: Brgy. Sta. Cruz, Ocampo, Camarines Sur
Entrance Fee: FREE (Guests just have to register in a log book)
- PAL and Cebu Pacific have direct flights daily to Naga Airport (which actually is in the municipality of Pili). Naga Airport is nearer than Legaspi Airport.
- From the airport, take a tricycle to reach the highway.
- From the highway, you may ride a bus, a jeepney, or a van bound for San Jose, Goa, Tigaon or Sagnay. If you are coming from Naga City, you can find jeepneys and non-aircon vans plying the Ocampo-Naga routes from the Central Bus Terminal.
- Tell the driver or conductor to drop you off the intersection or the main Ocampo junction in Barangay Sta. Cruz, a few kilometers after the municipal town proper.
- From the intersection, hire a motorcycle (habal–habal) to take you the deer farm. It’s a 4-kilometer drive up to Brgy. Sta. Cruz on the foothills of Mt. Isarog passing vast green fields.
Note: Tell the driver to wait as there are no other means of returning.
TIPS WHEN GOING TO OCAMPO DEER FARM
- Bring food and hydration if you plan to stay longer. There are no reliable stores in the area.
- Negotiate the price with the motorcycle (habal–habal) driver. The roundtrip fare must not be more than ₱150.
- Consocep Mountain Resort and Hibiscus Resort are neighboring places to add on your itinerary.
- Since the Ocampo Deer Farm is run by the Province of Camarines Sur, it would be helpful to get in touch with the Provincial Tourism Office in Pili, Camarines Sur if you want to do group tours.
- If you are staying in Naga City, you may ask your hotel’s front desk if they have tour services around Camarines Sur that include the Ocampo Deer Farm in the itinerary.
- The best time to visit the deer farm is in the afternoon when Mr. Sun is not in his mighty best. The place is an open area. Just imagine going there under the peak heat.
I seriously think this deer farm in Ocampo was the one in Provincial Capitol before and was just transferred? Can someone verify this? When I was in high school, we used to go to a resort in the Capitol (before the famous wakeboarding site was built) and I can remember seeing hundreds of hundreds of deer in cages there. When I went back to the place 3 years back, they were gone and the cages were destroyed and rusted.
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