Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: Variations in the colour of Sika Summer Coat

  1. #1

    Variations in the colour of Sika Summer Coat

    With the work now beginning on the giant pylon line from Beauly to Denny, which comes through my woodland, I had to find other land to stalk as I have been severly limited by risk assesments and disturbance from going out here. I found a place to rent about an hour north of where I live in Glen Urquhart and went out at 3am yesterday to give it a look. The area is wooded ,of about 500hectares and has 90% in new re-stock. There is a few Roe ,some nomadic Reds and a huge population of Sika.
    After only 5 mins of walking I saw a group of 4 Sika Stags and settled down to watch them. They are in great condition but the surprizing thing was their colour. My Sika males are light brown with a wide dorsal stripe and silver to cream spots. These were very light,even lighter than my hinds , with a narrow dorsal stripe and huge white spots. They reminded me of some Fallow I saw in a deer park. (Sorry I have never stalked in England) I spent the next 4 hours looking over the property and saw in total 8 separate groups of Sika all which were of this very light colouration.
    I know in the historical record that a lot of the original imports came from Japanese parks where the different races of Sika had run together for many years so a lot of the imports were of mixed blood already. Perhaps depending on what strain was in the genetic majority in these animals gives what we see now? I found a picture in wikipedia of a captive bred Formosan Sika and it is a dead ringer for what I saw yesterday.
    What colour are your deer?

    David

  2. #2
    Distinguished Member tartinjock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Nairn, Inverness-shire
    Posts
    2,610
    The ground I used to have at Daviot had a good number of Sika, in summer would be near chestnut in colour with wery distinct, near white spots.

    Cracking to see.

    I am up in Lairg shooting next month, there is a good number of Sika in that area, wonder if they will be any different.

    Good to hear that you are still getting out for some Stalking, just a shame that it's not on your ground where they are a plenty but you can't for the reasons given....

    TJ
    Position and hold must be firm enough to support the firearm
    The firearm must point naturally at the target without any undue physical effort
    Sight alignment (aiming) must be correct
    The shot must be released and followed through without disturbing the position

  3. #3
    Tartinjock,

    I was in the block above Ardgay last week , saw 13 sika, 6 Red stags and 1 roe doe. All the sika were in excellent condition, saw 1 x group of 4 stags, 2 were belters with the biggest showing a fully developed 8 point head already. Best off all was stalking into an old hind, yearling and this years calf to 40m. If only i had taken the camera.

  4. #4
    Been there cheap at half the price please dont charge me more this time john.

  5. #5
    Distinguished Member tartinjock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Nairn, Inverness-shire
    Posts
    2,610
    Quote Originally Posted by wallace grant View Post
    Tartinjock,

    I was in the block above Ardgay last week , saw 13 sika, 6 Red stags and 1 roe doe. All the sika were in excellent condition, saw 1 x group of 4 stags, 2 were belters with the biggest showing a fully developed 8 point head already. Best off all was stalking into an old hind, yearling and this years calf to 40m. If only i had taken the camera.
    John said you had a good sighting of all 3 Species, I have always seen up there, normally the opposite to what's in season, although I did take a Buck off there....(In season)
    Position and hold must be firm enough to support the firearm
    The firearm must point naturally at the target without any undue physical effort
    Sight alignment (aiming) must be correct
    The shot must be released and followed through without disturbing the position

  6. #6

    Sika Variations in Colour

    Out this morning also David, seen in excess of 40 Sika on two seperate propertys, colour variations also all different. Saw a group of five belting mature stags, two of them really light colour, significant spots the other two nearly black (melanistic) The hinds i was watching nearly all with light coloured coats, with the odd melanistic in between. One herd consisted off 18 beasts with three big stags, superb to watch. Canny wait!!


    Von

  7. #7
    Glad to hear you are all seeing some good Sika. I think they have benefitted from the good early spring and are in the best of condition . I think my Sika here must be of a different sub-race from the ones at this new area as my Sika are short and compact as well as being darker. The Sika up the coast are 30% bigger and all have this light colour as well as finer slighly thinner faces. The alarum call however is just as loud and startling especially when coming from just behind you in a block you have just walked past.

    Jock= if you have time look me up later in the season we can have a turn out if you like.

    David

  8. #8
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	26 June 2011 080.jpg 
Views:	34 
Size:	258.4 KB 
ID:	7668 Click image for larger version. 

Name:	26 June 2011 036.jpg 
Views:	31 
Size:	275.8 KB 
ID:	7666 Click image for larger version. 

Name:	26 June 2011 053.jpg 
Views:	30 
Size:	259.9 KB 
ID:	7667 Click image for larger version. 

Name:	26 June 2011 029.JPG 
Views:	34 
Size:	220.2 KB 
ID:	7665

    I photographed plenty of wild Japanese of sika this morning, all different shades as you can see. The sun makes a big difference to coat colour making a chestnut colour seem bright orange. I don't know of any Formosan sika in the wild in the UK. They are bigger than the Japs, but it is difficult to tell them apart other than by size in their summer coat. It is easy to differentiate the stags however. As far as I know the Japanese race is the only sika with black velvet (see above), while the others have a pink velvet. See the photo below of one of my Formosan stags photographed this afternoon. They are ier to diferentiate with the eye in winter coat.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	form 002.JPG 
Views:	32 
Size:	616.4 KB 
ID:	7670

    Interestingly the annual cycle of the Formosan is a month later than the Japs, antler casting, calving, rutting etc.

    Dama
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 26 June 2011 099.jpg  

  9. #9
    Thank you Dama for the photos. The one of the Formosan Stag is exactly what I saw on Friday. I take your point on no wild pure bred Formosan.But with original imports being of mixed blood and many populations bred in isolation often from a limited stock would inbreeding not highlight the dominant genes in that population? Just a thought.

    David

  10. #10
    Great pictures Dama

Similar Threads

  1. Summer Coat
    By mick b in forum Deer Stalking General
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 12-04-2011, 20:40
  2. She needs a new coat for the Summer!
    By JAYB in forum Photos
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 30-05-2010, 22:19
  3. Colour varaition
    By AJWH in forum Deer Stalking General
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 19-07-2008, 21:09
  4. Not in summer coat yet
    By Rob Mac in forum Taxidermy & Trophy Preparation
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 21-04-2008, 21:48
  5. Colour Blindness
    By mudman in forum Deer Stalking General
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 20-03-2008, 19:13

Posting Permissions

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