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Thread: sika stag

  1. #1

    sika stag

    hi lads i was out this morning stalking on my sika ground and came across a heavy headed 6 point stag that was going nuts in a wallow and thrashing the bushes all around it he was having a good old time to himself.He was definitly rutted out the had a spine like a razor and very thin. This stag has held this area of ground since august.I know the rut is over and there is only sika on this ground but is this normal for a stag to fray this long.AND no i didnt shoot him.I enjoyed the show for about 15 minutes.

  2. #2
    I've seen them at this until the middle of November in NI.

    My theory, and it's probably worth sod all, is that the hinds come into season every month until they are covered. The peak of the rut seems to be around mid-October when I guess most hinds are in season. However, there always seem to be a small number of stags holding hinds again in mid-November and so I'm guessing those were hinds that weren't covered the first time around and so have come into season again. I've never heard them whistling in November and it tends not to be the biggest stags.

    In Fermanagh I've also noticed that small spiker stags seem to make an attempt to hold hinds in January/Feb time and almost every year I see a relatively new calf in October time. Given this I suspect that they very small stags get a chance at the few remaining hinds at this time and that on occasions they are successful.
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  3. #3
    interesting theory on females they must be all like this.

  4. #4
    Just heading back south after s few days stalking in the Borders and heard a Sika Stag whistle.

  5. #5
    Rutting behaviour in Sika stags is not contained to 3 or 4 weeks of the season. I was seeing freshly used wallows on Saturday past when out. There are also signs of ground being recently ripped up as well and a stag we shot last Thursday had the most amazing smell of larch sap covering its antlers from scoring and rubbing. Last year we saw stags still holding groups of hinds at the beginning of December.

    Caorach's theory is an interesting one. The first Sika calf this year was seen in early May. Last year in October still during the stag season, I saw a young calf being brought by its mother to join a group out feeding and it was clearly several weeks younger than the others there. It was still in full summer pelage while the others had already gone through a full winter coat change. Its behaviour alone suggested it was very young. Now if the estimates are correct that a good number of Sika hind calves can be covered in the same year they are born, then I would assume they will likely be early born calves. Will they then not be likely to come into oestrous later in that same year, perhaps November/December time, just sexually mature for that year? That would mean they then will have late season calves perhaps. Hinds born later in the year may not be sexually mature that first season but may therefore come into oestrous earlier the following year for the first time.

    This is just my own interpretation of what I see. What it does all add up to however, is that with a continually changing climate the deer are far less likely to habitually follow seasons, rutting and so on. And if there are hinds, no matter what age giving off that smell, then surely stags will oblige? It may well mean that the the bigger mature stags who were holding groups from September onwards are now past the rut for them and the younger ones who never got a look in are able to step in and do the job!

  6. #6
    If you add 30 weeks to the week beginning 11 nov it takes you to the week beginning 2 june 2014.( taken off diary, I think I'm right) Between extended calving dates and sexually mature juveniles your poor old bugger was only taking a breather! Seriously though you only have to take a wander round Killarney in late summer / early autumn to see an astonishing variety of size and age in both red and sika calves. I have always presumed that the mild climate here combined with the cycling of the hinds leads to a very extended calving schedule. I don't know what it's like in UK but we get a very pronounced mini rut over here about february.
    Incidentally my earliest recorded sighting of a red calf in Meath was the third week of April in the 90's. My first view was of two foxes in the middle of the day quartering an old meadow which had not been mowed the previous year. What I thought was the ear tips of a hare turned into a calf to my amazement, shortly followed by the hind coming into view striking out with her forefeet. I got the impression that the foxes were only taking the piss, as the calf did not leave it's couch afterwards.

    Ion

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by jamross65 View Post
    with a continually changing climate the deer are far less likely to habitually follow seasons, rutting and so on. And if there are hinds, no matter what age giving off that smell, then surely stags will oblige? It may well mean that the the bigger mature stags who were holding groups from September onwards are now past the rut for them and the younger ones who never got a look in are able to step in and do the job!
    As I understand it almost all seasonal animal behaviour in our latitudes is driven by the length of daylight hours and I suspect that the weather has little or no effect, though it may impact on movement or location on a particular day.

    I know a bit of ground that holds sika hinds but no stags in the summer. The stags have been arriving in the first week of September every year for the last 30 or more years no matter what the weather. For me this supports the position that their clock is much more robust than just being based on weather.

    However, I think you are right and that once a hind is in season then any available stag will try to avail of the opportunity no matter what time of year. My observations seem to indicate that the bigger stags are "in control" for the peak of the rut around the middle of October (in my area) and these bigger animals then just seem to vanish. The mid-November peak seems to involve slightly smaller stags and there is less of the typical rutting behaviour probably because the hinds tend to be wandering about alone rather than in groups and the stags tend to be much fewer in numbers. By the time we get into the new year it is only very small stags that I've seen appearing to hold hinds and my theory is that they are mopping up any hinds that got missed. As you say it seems likely to me that early hind calves could be covered by these smaller stags at the start of the new year and go on to be producing calves in September or October.

    I think that many people assume that sika are similar to red deer because they are so closely related and so they expect sika to behave in the same way as red deer. In turn I think this has resulted in a lot of "information" about sika actually being just an extrapolation from red deer behaviour, perhaps produced by people who haven't actually seen a lot of sika. Given this I think there may be a lot more about sika behaviour that we don't understand, or about which we are misinformed.

    As an aside I've seen one of these late calves, though not the product of a very young hind in as far as I could tell, survive the winter so this strategy may be successful.
    For self catering accommodation on the Isle of Lewis please visit:
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  8. #8
    I'm convinced the weather plays as large a part as daylight hours. The months, weeks, or even days year on year offer the same hours of sunshine. Yet proper rutting activity can start, stop and start again. The only factor that changes seems to be temperature as the rain certainly doesn't put them off.

    Last year we saw the rut begin properly in September, but the weather jumped up to a really warm October and suddenly stags were back out feeding with each other side by side in among groups of hinds. The ones we did shoot all had full stomachs and showed no aggression to others in the slightest. This seemed to last until it got colder a couple of weeks later then they broke up again and whistling began as did groups appearing being held by one large stag. On the 7th October this year it was 17deg at 6am here. For that and the next day we hardly saw or heard anything. Then on the Wednesday there was a drop of 7deg and for the next two days there were stags whistling everywhere. Rutting may continue, perhaps not as visibly during daylight hours but the intensity of it without a doubt seems to fluctuate with the heat going up and down...

  9. #9
    Out lamping last night and also heard a sika whistling close to where I was going ,drove round the corner and he was standing on the road , admired him for a minute -turned the light to shine into the field and 2 bazils looking at me , followed them up the field and plugged 1.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Bugsy View Post
    Out lamping last night and also heard a sika whistling close to where I was going ,drove round the corner and he was standing on the road , admired him for a minute -turned the light to shine into the field and 2 bazils looking at me , followed them up the field and plugged 1.
    You think the stag was squeaking them in for you?

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