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Thread: Possible Sighting of 'Displaced' Sika Stag

  1. #1

    Possible Sighting of 'Displaced' Sika Stag

    I was speaking to a local grouse keeper last night, and he happened to mention that 2 people both he and I know, had seen a sika stag in an area near Lauder in the borders. Both these people are shooting men and claim that what they saw on 2 different occasions (a day or two apart), was a sika stag.

    By road, the nearest population of sika is just over 20 miles away but in a straight line is much less and across open hill and some forestry with 2 main ('ish for the borders) roads to cross, the A7 and the A68.

    What's interesting is a very good friend of mine who has stalking westwards of this sighting, just outside Lauder (closer to the known population), swears blind he saw a sika about 3 years ago on his hill ground. I suggested he was mistaken as there was nothing to compare it in size to and the light was going, but when it ran off he went over and found the slot marks which were far bigger than roe. He has shot a few sika as well and obviously knows what they look like. I cannot remember if his sighting was at a time when the stags would have antler or not.

    I have read and heard of stags, red in particular, travelling great distances to reach hinds in oestrus and one story from an old Stalking magazine refers to a tame red hind becoming impregnated, with the nearest known population of red being over 50miles away. A stalking mate of mine with a lot of experience on sika once watched a stag chasing trying to cover a mare Shetland pony in a field!!! This same friend was called to dispatch a sika stag injured in an RTA on the Edinburgh road, a few miles north of Peebles so they will cross these thoroughfares which at night are pretty quiet.

    Any thoughts or comment on similar experiences or sightings?

  2. #2
    Say the stag got chased off by another, bigger stag, and so had to up sticks and hit the road and especially if he was very keen to find some hinds then I don't think 20 miles is a considerable distance at all. The hinds seem to travel much less but with a decent moon and the desire to find some hinds driving him I'd say a sika stag could easily cover 20 miles in 3 or 4 hours even allowing for roads etc. My money says he hasn't seen the sika distribution map so if he isn't holding some hinds or is on the run then one direction is as good as another for him until he can smell some hinds again. My guess is that's why stags turn up in strange places while hinds usually just expand slowly outwards from a known population.

    Sika also seem a lot more wary and smart than other deer and I'm inclined to suspect this might make them less prone to collisions with cars and also less likely to be seen by the general public. This might allow them to get across the road better and also allows them to become quite well established before it is generally known that they are present.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by caorach View Post
    Say the stag got chased off by another, bigger stag, and so had to up sticks and hit the road and especially if he was very keen to find some hinds then I don't think 20 miles is a considerable distance at all. The hinds seem to travel much less but with a decent moon and the desire to find some hinds driving him I'd say a sika stag could easily cover 20 miles in 3 or 4 hours even allowing for roads etc. My money says he hasn't seen the sika distribution map so if he isn't holding some hinds or is on the run then one direction is as good as another for him until he can smell some hinds again. My guess is that's why stags turn up in strange places while hinds usually just expand slowly outwards from a known population.

    Sika also seem a lot more wary and smart than other deer and I'm inclined to suspect this might make them less prone to collisions with cars and also less likely to be seen by the general public. This might allow them to get across the road better and also allows them to become quite well established before it is generally known that they are present.
    Caorach

    I cannot disagree with your opening statements, especially given the late rut here and still seeing chasing between stags. There are no hinds this way however or anything else that matter to cause him to keep moving (prevailing wind is from where he came), but being chased off is what I thought may have started his movement.

  4. #4
    Jamross regarding our chat on monday and my mate hearing them whistle at the most easterly part of Elibank, right next to Clovenfords, not to far from Lauder!
    Last edited by Von; 17-11-2011 at 20:25.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by jamross65 View Post
    Caorach

    I cannot disagree with your opening statements, especially given the late rut here and still seeing chasing between stags. There are no hinds this way however or anything else that matter to cause him to keep moving (prevailing wind is from where he came), but being chased off is what I thought may have started his movement.
    I think what I was trying to say was that he is not to know if he is moving away from a sika area - as far as the stag is concerned he doesn't know that there are large parts of the country without sika and I'm guessing that he is programmed to assume that there will be deer in all reasonable holding country. So, if he has a bad experience in area A he doesn't know that the deer in that area are the only ones for miles around so he heads off in whatever direction takes his fancy, probably related to the lie of the land and available cover in the area he was chased from with a preference not to visit area A for a little while in view of the his previous experience there.

    My guess is that on travelling some considerable distance and finding no more hinds he will slowly gravitate back to where he came from. If he was only 20 miles from home then a few hours will take him back and even if he was 100 miles away then a few nights of, for a deer, relatively relaxed walking would take him back.

    I don't know if there is any research on the matter but I would imagine that an "expelled" stag probably has a virtually random chance of travelling in any given direction and how far he goes is probably related to his attention span and just how big a fright he got back home.

  6. #6
    Hey Brian, it's one of mine mate,moving out before I move in.

    Regards

    Davie

  7. #7
    My parents-in law live between Gala and Selkirk,

    I'll be listening much more closely to their woods next autumn!

    H.

  8. #8
    I shot a stag the other week involved in a RTA, and we have NO sika population anywhere near us, in fact I had never even seen a sika before, thats how many there are round us!!!!!!!

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Herne View Post
    My parents-in law live between Gala and Selkirk,

    I'll be listening much more closely to their woods next autumn!

    H.
    You never know...

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by caorach View Post
    I think what I was trying to say was that he is not to know if he is moving away from a sika area - as far as the stag is concerned he doesn't know that there are large parts of the country without sika and I'm guessing that he is programmed to assume that there will be deer in all reasonable holding country. So, if he has a bad experience in area A he doesn't know that the deer in that area are the only ones for miles around so he heads off in whatever direction takes his fancy, probably related to the lie of the land and available cover in the area he was chased from with a preference not to visit area A for a little while in view of the his previous experience there.

    My guess is that on travelling some considerable distance and finding no more hinds he will slowly gravitate back to where he came from. If he was only 20 miles from home then a few hours will take him back and even if he was 100 miles away then a few nights of, for a deer, relatively relaxed walking would take him back.

    I don't know if there is any research on the matter but I would imagine that an "expelled" stag probably has a virtually random chance of travelling in any given direction and how far he goes is probably related to his attention span and just how big a fright he got back home.
    I suppose we will never know for sure. I felt though, that certainly the smell from hinds during the rut, and the smell being carried on the wind, he would have been taken back eventually in their direction. As you said though, maybe him taking off from a big boy and finding himself 20 miles away, was the point he has got to before thinking of heading back...

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