North Dakota reindeer ranch bringing Christmas joy

Published: Dec. 22, 2022 at 5:52 PM CST
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DRAYTON, N.D. (KFYR) - Some of the reindeer that pull Santa’s sleigh happen to be located closer to North Dakotans than you might think. In Drayton, North Dakota, there’s a reindeer ranch.

Owner and operator Kyle Hoselton has raised the animals for 25 years, and right now, he has four males and six females. The reindeer are for show around Montana, North and South Dakota and Minnesota. He loves being a rancher and likes how the animals bring holiday cheer.

“Everybody then looks at you. If the males dropped their antlers, who pulls the sleighs? Well, the females do because females have antlers,” said Hoselton.

He says caring for the reindeer is like raising cattle. He says in the story “Rudolph the red nose reindeer,” it would make more sense if they were females.

“Like the wife would say, well, you’re not gonna get a bunch of males to pull them around, they’re gonna sit back and take life easy - the females do all the work and not get lost and everything else,” said Hoselton.

He is now working to halter break the reindeer so they someday will be able to pull the sleigh.

“My goal is to be able to use them to pull the sleigh; we’ve had snowmobiles and everything else. Why not have reindeer pull the sleigh,” said Hoselton.

His lifelong passion has led to him raising multiple reindeer.

“I’ve had generations, if you want to say, around the farm; we are now starting new generations of new genetics, you could say, and different genetics from where we started,” said Hoselton.

Hoselton says the reindeer really enjoy the weather in North Dakota, and some of them live to be around 15 years old.

His favorite reindeer is Olaf because he acts like a well-trained dog.