Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 17

Thread: When do red stags start to hold ground?

  1. #1

    When do red stags start to hold ground?

    Sitting here today after not stalking since beginning of April. Thinking of later in the year when I will finally get to try for a stag on our ground. My question is, Is it possible to find area's where stags are taking a stand or holding an area much before the main rutting event?
    I had thought in order to increase my chances of getting onto a deer I could go up a couple weeks earlier, do some reconnaissance and set up some cameras in likely spots.

    So since I'll be stalking around 2nd week of October, could I go up a couple weeks earlier, or would it be a waste of time (as far as to see stags holding ground)?

    Of course I realise no one can predict the ruts main activity peak, so just looking for general experience/advise.
    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by woodmaster View Post
    Sitting here today after not stalking since beginning of April. Thinking of later in the year when I will finally get to try for a stag on our ground. My question is, Is it possible to find area's where stags are taking a stand or holding an area much before the main rutting event?
    I had thought in order to increase my chances of getting onto a deer I could go up a couple weeks earlier, do some reconnaissance and set up some cameras in likely
    So since I'll be stalking around 2nd week of October, could I go up a couple weeks earlier, or would it be a waste of time (as far as to see stags holding ground)?

    Of course I realise no one can predict the ruts main activity peak, so just looking for general experience/advise.
    Thanks.
    You won't find them "holding ground" until the rut breaks it can vary a bit when that will actually be, but your usual time would be a safe bet.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by woodmaster View Post
    Sitting here today after not stalking since beginning of April. Thinking of later in the year when I will finally get to try for a stag on our ground. My question is, Is it possible to find area's where stags are taking a stand or holding an area much before the main rutting event?
    I had thought in order to increase my chances of getting onto a deer I could go up a couple weeks earlier, do some reconnaissance and set up some cameras in likely spots.

    So since I'll be stalking around 2nd week of October, could I go up a couple weeks earlier, or would it be a waste of time (as far as to see stags holding ground)?

    Of course I realise no one can predict the ruts main activity peak, so just looking for general experience/advise.
    Thanks.
    Hi Woodmaster,

    I presume you are asking about Red deer stags?
    I can only speak from my own experience as each ground can be a little different. I would start to spend serious time on the ground in the second week of September . This is when "Movement" will start to happen. This is when I really notice stags starting to move into the forest that I have. It can be a good time to cull stags of lesser quality ie. stags lacking a crown.
    As for finding the bachelor herds if your ground is big enough that the inhabit it, I would not put then under serious pressure as this can be detrimental before the rut starts. Putting stags under pressure can move them into neighbouring ground. The stags on my ground inhabit the hills which is as the crow flies 6 - 8 km away from the main area that hinds inhabit.

    To be honest no time spent on your hunting area will wasted time.
    Wishing you all the best this October keep us posted!.

    Regards,
    Glendine.

  4. #4
    Although not quite the same, I've had stags squaring up to me in Thetford Forest.
    Kind Regards
    Cranhill

  5. #5
    There`s always exception to the rule with approximate time`s and locations in various areas of the country.
    From my experience the second week in September you will see stags moving around in search of groups of female`s.
    So if it just so happens that you have good feeding in the area that you have access too then the females will hold there and stags will come to them.
    I have seen groups of mature stags together from late December right up until the first week in September. Then from there on in until late October they just wont tolerate close proximity of one another.
    I took this picture August the 6th last year of a group of young/middle aged and Mature stags chasing hinds around in standing corn on a summer evening.
    The hinds which amounted to seven (all not in the picture) had calves with them.
    All the hinds stayed on this ground along with one mature big stag right up until November. Though the large mature stag was replaced by another mid October.
    Both are still on the ground today.. But all the other stags in the picture got sent over the rainbow bridge
    So Woodboy to answer your question no you wouldn't be wasting your time with an early visit.

    Last edited by Scarlet; 04-07-2016 at 20:42.

  6. #6
    So far as I've seen, stags don't hold ground until they find their hinds when the rut starts. Yes they'll move into hind forest areas, but mostly browse around independently until they sniff a hind ready to mate...then they go seek & find.
    If they can gather up hinds as their testosterone levels rise before hinds are ready, they'll follow their gathering. That's when they stand & fight.
    Usually 1st wk Oct. around us, but may of course be variable by a few days.
    Last edited by deeangeo; 04-07-2016 at 20:59.
    Blaser K95 Luxus Kipplaufbüchse .25-06Rem. Zeiss 8x56, 110gn Nosler Accubond = Game Over!

  7. #7
    Thanks Guys, some really interesting observations there. So for those of you who suggest you see stags beginning to "move" around the 2nd week September, how long before the main rut would that normally be?

    So thinking probably best to visit around the third week September to see if stags are moving in from the surrounding moors. My experience last year was that although some stags were heard roaring within the timber, most action was on the moors just outside the forest. I watched 3 stags all with hinds just 200 yds out in the open. They were in the same places the following day.
    I wish I had the time to spend a week or more on the ground over the rut, but that is not likely along with the issue of needing to make sure other members get a fair crack at the stags. Hence me looking to try and narrow my search area's in advance.
    Any further advice would be greatly appreciated. I always learn something from you guys, which has helped me no end over the last few years. I've basically learned what little I know from just getting out myself and making alot of mistakes and "wasting" alot of time doing things the hard way. But I've loved doing it. And I just can't wait to get up there again, even if it's just to look around.
    Thanks.

  8. #8
    They don't hold ground. Red Stags will travel to find hinds if needs be. Red hinds are usually hefted to within a few miles of where they were born, and where you have hinds that's where the stags will be in the rut.
    All grades of deer stalkers/hunters in the UK and overseas catered for. Level 2 DMQ signing off available. Over 30 years experience in the stalking/hunting industry. For friendly and professional help go to www.UKOutfitters.co.uk

    ZEISS PRO STALKER.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by sikamalc View Post
    They don't hold ground. Red Stags will travel to find hinds if needs be. Red hinds are usually hefted to within a few miles of where they were born, and where you have hinds that's where the stags will be in the rut.
    What sikamalc says is true, it depends on what you mean by " holding ground" Stags and hinds live apart for most of the year hence why ground is referred to as stag forests or hind forests , for most of the year stags live in bachelor groups on the high ground where there is usually enough of a breeze to keep the flies away which annoy them.
    From early September there starts to be an unrest among the stags, and the camaraderie of summer starts to break up , if you are in the right place you may even hear them trying out their voices not the full roar as in the rut but a droning noise.
    This will continue throughout September until they break which coincides with the first hinds coming into season
    As Malk says hinds are hefted to an area and the stags will come to them , but there are traditional rutting places often in a corrie or such like and more often than not the same stags can be found on the same rutting place year after year at the start of the rut, he will keep the hinds in that spot defending it against all comers until he is either disposed by another stag, shot or just spent, I presume this is what you mean by "holding ground"

    As to when the rut starts well it can vary a bit, observing it for many years I have seen it start as early as mid September and the latest the 10th of October only once have I seen it start this late.

    In Gaelic tradition the 26th of September is known as the day of the roaring ,the start of the rut,and while one can't pinpoint it that exactly
    observation over the years has proved It to be fairly accurate..

    If I was wanting to be sure of seeing rutting activity or as sure as one can be I would settle for the second week of October.
    Last edited by bogtrotter; 05-07-2016 at 13:56.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by bogtrotter View Post
    What sikamalc says is true, it depends on what you mean by " holding ground" Stags and hinds live apart for most of the year hence why ground is referred to as stag forests or hind forests , for most of the year stags live in bachelor groups on the high ground where there is usually enough of a breeze to keep the flies away which annoy them.
    From early September there starts to be an unrest among the stags, and the camaraderie of summer starts to break up , if you are in the right place you may even hear them trying out their voices not the full roar as in the rut but a droning noise.
    This will continue throughout September until they break which coincides with the first hinds coming into season



    As Malk says hinds are hefted to an area and the stags will come to them , but their are traditional rutting places often in a corrie or such like and more often than not the same stags can be found on the same rutting place year after year at the start of the rut, he will keep the hinds in that spot defending it against all comers until he is either disposed by another stag, shot or just spent, I presume this is what you mean by "holding ground"

    As to when the rut starts well it can vary a bit, observing it for many years I have seen it start as early as mid September and the latest the 10th of October only once have I seen it start this late.

    In Gaelic tradition the 26th of September is known as the day of the roaring ,the start of the rut,and while one can't pinpoint it that exactly
    observation over the years has proved It to be fairly accurate..

    If I was wanting to be sure of seeing rutting activity or as sure as one can be I would settle for the second week of October.
    Excellent post.

    Regards,
    Glendine.

Similar Threads

  1. Available sika stags/ red stags sept/oct 2016
    By rickski55 in forum Deer Stalking Opportunities
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 01-03-2016, 18:42
  2. Wanted Red and roe ground
    By robert1666 in forum Deer Stalking Opportunities
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 01-04-2014, 21:31
  3. when to start culling stags
    By PKL in forum Deer Stalking General
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 02-05-2012, 15:59
  4. Good start to new ground
    By 243varmint in forum Articles & Write Ups
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 16-04-2009, 09:59
  5. A good start to new ground.
    By Amhuinnsuidhe in forum Articles & Write Ups
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 04-02-2009, 11:35

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •