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Thread: shooting stags in rut?

  1. #1

    shooting stags in rut?

    can all you experts who no doubt have a reasonable answer,please tell me why master stags are shot during the rut??
    surely the stag is the master stag because he is holding hinds and seeing off all competition,so why shoot an animal that is clearly the best animal to pass on genes?
    i honestly cant see the point,you loose the dominant stag and no doubt upset the hinds and thus upset the rut?

  2. #2
    because it's a nice trophy and fetches a great income to the estate! simple as.

    however, there are/can be other reasons. I have on many occassions shot the 'master' stag holding up to 20 hinds, simply because they have been in poor shape, going back, or very old - where essentially a younger less 'grand' beast may actually be better swooping in and taking the position to pass on younger healthier genes.

  3. #3
    Thats why I don't shoot the master stag. We try to complete our stag cull before the rut kicks off so the stags can rut in peace. Commercial deer managers may do things differently when they have clients who want trophies. That being said, in a well managed population there will always be a couple of trophies that feature in a cull. As long as its not overdone, i do not see a problem.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by sikastag1 View Post
    can all you experts who no doubt have a reasonable answer,please tell me why master stags are shot during the rut??
    surely the stag is the master stag because he is holding hinds and seeing off all competition,so why shoot an animal that is clearly the best animal to pass on genes?
    i honestly cant see the point,you loose the dominant stag and no doubt upset the hinds and thus upset the rut?
    You firstly need to understand a bit about genetics!

    The DNA the stag passes on is exactly the same whether he is a year old having recovered from a bad foot and has a crap head as when he gets to the prime of his life and grows a big head a few years later.

    I strongly suspect that most stags have the genetic potential to grow a good head and other environmental and social factors govern what you see.

    Section 161 of the Highways Act 1980 (England & Wales) makes it an offence to discharge a firearm within 50 ft of the centre of a highway with vehicular rights without lawful authority or excuse, if as a result a user of the highway is injured, interrupted or endangered.

  5. #5
    They taste crap they smell are completely covered in parasites over the rut why would any one shoot them during this period. Also if a stag can hold a group of hinds and has no deformities he should be left its natures way.
    Last edited by 6pointer; 03-10-2012 at 20:14.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Apache View Post
    You firstly need to understand a bit about genetics!

    The DNA the stag passes on is exactly the same whether he is a year old having recovered from a bad foot and has a crap head as when he gets to the prime of his life and grows a big head a few years later.

    I strongly suspect that most stags have the genetic potential to grow a good head and other environmental and social factors govern what you see.
    I agree, most folk while carrying out a sporting cull will leave the best stags whether holding hinds or not.

    When I started working, we didn't shoot stags in the rut. we finished with guests at the end of sept and then would only soot really poor stuff ourselfs, leaving the deer in peace. We then would give the deer time to settle and would start shooting at the start of Nov.

    Thinking back it was a nice idea but we were holding too many deer.

    As said venison quality is horrendous but fine for the Continental market!

    Many Hind forests won't see a stag until the rut, so it's there only chance for a stag.

    Despite the smelly brutes, it's my favourite time of the year!

    Incidently, both my sons are born late May?????

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by 6pointer View Post
    he should be left its natures way.
    But in doing what we do, whether it be to young stags, hinds or the trophies nothing is 'natures way'. Yes they smell, but for arguments sake, on my ground I won't see any stags all year apart from during and shortly after the rut, am I supposed to not remove any stags at all?

  8. #8
    a lot of places only have transient stag populations (as above)

    That said a sensible cull policy should allow the prime "trophy" stags to rut before they are shot necessitating a late-rut cull.
    no point shooting all the big ones that come into a piece of ground before they have done their work.

    not all condition indicators are genetic though.
    It has a lot to do with it but environmental factors have as much to do with the condition of the herd as genetics

  9. #9
    The question you should be asking is why people shoot good Stags and Bucks before the rut.......

  10. #10
    Stags shot by clients are normally mature stags so will have had several years of leaving his genes, there are traditional rutting corries, where hinds gather the mature stags in good condition will be first to start rutting and make their way to the same corries year on year, so there is a very good chance that a hind has been lined by the same stag several years running.


    A stag even one in prime condition will not hold his harem for the whole of the rut a good stag may start of with as many as thirty hinds , but that number will be eroded as the rut progresses, hinds being pinched from him by opportunist stags, but the fact of being constantly on the move ,sleeping very little if at all not eating all take there toll, even a stag in his prime will only last so long maybe three weeks absolute max before he is driven off where upon he will probably head of to the wintering ground to recover.

    Much is made of good stags, but a good stag is only half the the story, you need a equally good hind, much harder to identify to produce a good youngster, why do people think its all down to the stag.

    Early in the rut as I said its mature stags in their prime that hold the most hinds , this is not always the stag with the biggest head, so I would suggest from that there is more to being a good stag than just the size of his head.

    In fact I would say that the food available has more to do with head a stag has than any other factor, there have been plenty instances in the past when park deer have been released with the intention of improving the quality
    of Highland deer, has it worked not really in fact in a few years your park stag will have degenerated and probably carry no better a head than many of the resident deer.

    Red hinds unlike Roe which tend to only come into oestrus once will usually come in again twenty one days later
    by that time most of the big stags have finished so hinds that were missed the first time will almost invariably be mated by young stags.

    When you take all the above into consideration I believe you are doing no great harm by shooting mature stags in the rut.

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