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Thread: Red deer questions?

  1. #1

    Question Red deer questions?

    Here in Texas we have quite a few places to hunt red deer. Some are pure and others are elk/red crosses. and some are unknown, but if not pure look so. I have killed 7 or so hinds and a spike. All I believe are pure or mostly so and mature except the spike which was a yearling. They have weighed (live weight) between 260-310lbs, with the spike falling somewhere in the middle. I have been told that the average mature stag will weigh around 450lbs. I believe the red deer in scotland are smaller than this and others are larger. Would somene give me some info on this?

    Also, there tend to be two types of antlers. Some are the typical ones with obvious crowns on mature stags, or begining of crowns on younger deer. Others, tend to have partial crowns or no crowns at all. These are often called 'park' deer. They appear to be the same although they may be a little lighter. Any comments will be appreciated. capt david

  2. #2
    The site has some very good info on Red deer (as well as our other species in the UK) here:

    http://www.thestalkingdirectory.co.u...vus-elaphus%29

    Here is a picture of a park deer local to me:

    Attachment 8253

    As you can see they are big with excellent antlers.

    I have seen some large red stags on the permission I have in Scotland (10 point) but the area is predominantly forest with excellent feeding and good shelter for the winter.

    Tony
    Below is a link to my website.
    Quad sticks

  3. #3
    Hi Capt David,

    Yes Scottish hill stags are smaller 'generally' than the rest of the reds existing in the rest of the UK. This is mainly down to the fact the the caledonian pine forests where removed xxx number of years ago (less than 1% of these forests remain) and the Reds had no choice but to become open hill grazing animals with less cover and food avalivble hense the reduction in size.

    I thought the North American Elk and Red Deer where the same beast?

    Ali

  4. #4
    aliS is right, 'hill' Red stags in Scotland are somewhat smaller, but there are some big stags in SW Scotland Galloway area..often with Wapiti in them. Identifying wapiti in reds is done by looking for a darker shaded 'horseshoe' shape over the rear back/haunch of the deer.
    Red deer are one of the largest species, behind Moose & Elk (Wapiti). Cheers.
    Last edited by deeangeo; 28-07-2011 at 06:03.
    Blaser K95 Luxus Kipplaufbüchse .25-06Rem. Zeiss 8x56, 110gn Nosler Accubond = Game Over!

  5. #5
    Down here in the West Country, (Devon, West Somerset & Cornwall), we have the largest population of red deer in England on Exmoor, the Quantock Hills and surrounding areas. The 'moor' is a bit of a misnomer as these are predominately woodland deer and not from the hill as per Scottish reds. Several other established populations in the Teign Valley, Tamar Valley and environs etc. etc. Like the monsters from Thetford they can achieve very high bodyweights and impressive hatracks - check out the 'Endsleigh Stag' as an example, (With thanks to PaulK for the report) http://www.thestalkingdirectory.co.u...Endsleigh+Stag

    I've previously had clients that have taken 20+ pointers, and although I'm not usually a 'bone collector', I took a 14 pointer for myself in the peak of condition last September - bodyweight was a shade over 400lb head, legs and jacket off, so a bit of a monster!

    Attachment 8274

    Same goes for the hinds, they tend to be a bit on the 'large' size :

    Attachment 8275

  6. #6
    Orion, the stag in your picture is what is often called a 'park' stag here in Texas. It has a 'partial' (my words) crown. Ours may be a little more tawney (lightly tanner) in color. Others have a definite crown on each antler. All of these are hunted on a fee basis, with the ones with the crowns bring more than the park ones. The ranches on which these are hunted are high game fenced and range from pretty small to thousands of acres. Generally I only hunt ranches with 1000 acres or more. That said, a friend hunted a 250 acre area for three days before he got an excellent fallow buck. The landowner originaly had around ten fallow on that pasture and wanted them all taken off. That buck was the last one. capt david

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by captdavid View Post
    Here in Texas we have quite a few places to hunt red deer. Some are pure and others are elk/red crosses. and some are unknown, but if not pure look so. I have killed 7 or so hinds and a spike. All I believe are pure or mostly so and mature except the spike which was a yearling. They have weighed (live weight) between 260-310lbs, with the spike falling somewhere in the middle. I have been told that the average mature stag will weigh around 450lbs. I believe the red deer in scotland are smaller than this and others are larger. Would somene give me some info on this?

    Also, there tend to be two types of antlers. Some are the typical ones with obvious crowns on mature stags, or begining of crowns on younger deer. Others, tend to have partial crowns or no crowns at all. These are often called 'park' deer. They appear to be the same although they may be a little lighter. Any comments will be appreciated. capt david
    I've seen some DVD footage of hunts for "red stags" in the USA and I have to say that those I saw had a distinct "elk" like colouration although the antlers were fairly typical reds. In the UK there are two fairly distinct habitats for our red deer, in Scotland and the Lake District they are animals living on the open hillside with poor feeding and they do not grow too big unless they have access to woodland or have supplemental feeding. A big animal will be in the region of 300lbs with an average more like 200lbs and the antlers are much smaller having their own lower CIC medal categories. Once the deer have access to deciduous woods or farmland they start to be much bigger and the red stags from England, particularly Norfolk and Devon can attain body weights nearer to 500lbs and carry far larger antlers.

    A classic mature red deer antler has three points each side from brow to trez and then a crown with three or more points each side. A 6x6 like this being the classic "Royal" stag. Antler development is also subject to genetic heritage and stags from herds like Warnham, Woburn and one or two others have a genetic tendency for big antlers and multiple points that seem to carry through the generations. These have been introduced or escaped into some wild populations (including New Zealand) and the effect on antler size soon becomes apparent. The Norfolk reds mostly originated from Warnham Park stock left out by staghunts in the 1940/50s and they still produce some of the biggest heads in the UK. Some red deer from Eastern Europe and Asia have antlers that are more elk like and instead of a cup or crown they have more of a throwback at the top and are called maraloid.

    A very good English red stag will have a length of around 40" and up to 16 points, although more points are not uncommon. Check the link in Orion's post for photos of what is now the UK's 2nd largest head although still probably the most beautiful, it is a classic red stag shape and was just over 45" with 20 points on the final head although earlier heads carried by this stag had 24 points and a photo of this head is also in the link.

    I took this photo over the fence at Warnham and these are not particularly old stags, possibly just three or four years old

    Last edited by paul k; 28-07-2011 at 13:56.

  8. #8
    Paul, my experience is on 5 different ranches, most appear to be the color of the ones in your picture. As for 'pure' versus elk like, you are right. About 20 or so years ago, when the reds were first introduced on a larger scale, it was not uncommon to have an elk or two thrown in. Many ranches still have these around. Others are begining to cull their herd of animals with elk like traits, and adding pure stock. Some are even eliminating, by traping or culling their entire herd and replacing it with registered purebreds. capt david

  9. #9
    Captdavid,

    Don't fooled by the colour of the deer in my pics - it's down to the reproduction from my low res 'phone camera and taken in low(ish) light. The stag is a very rich red, much like those in Paul's posted pic, and the hind is in normal full winter coat.

  10. #10
    Below is a picture of a Lake District [Cumbria] mountain red-stag.
    This is a 12 pointer or a `Royal` as we call them as it has brow tines, bay [bez] tines, trays [trez] and triple tops [crowns].
    Most of our `hill` stags are of inferior quality when compared with this one. It weighed 218 pounds clean with head and legs off on the game-dealers scales.
    They come down off the mountains in the evening to take advantage of the better grazing in the meadows and return to the hill in the morning.
    I often went at first light to arrest them as there was no point in having a hard drag off a stoney mountain whilst culling if possible.

    When I took on that stalking in 1961 the best Red-stag was a spindly 8 pointer and when I retired a few years ago my best stag was a quality 14 pointer.
    HWH.

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