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Thread: Hind weights

  1. #1

    Hind weights

    Just wondering what weights you fellow Highland Red hind stalkers are getting?

    Had 3 beasts through the larder today, a yeld hind and a hind with a stag calf at foot. The yeld hind was 176 lbs/12 stone 8 whilst the hind with calf was 152 lbs/10 stone 12. Both hinds were also pregnant, both with stag calves. So far every hind through the larder has been pregnant with stag calves. My understanding, limited as it may be, is that hinds have to be in a better condition to mother a stag than they do to mother a hind i.e. good condition = stag calf, poorer condition = hind calf.

    Is this consistent with what the rest of you are finding? These deer aren't fed although they do maraud down from the hills onto fertile arable land during the winter months.

    All the best,


    Scott

  2. #2
    Sex of the calf has had nothing to do with condition in my experience but await vet input. All weights seem to be up in the Eastern Highlands this year.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by ScottM11 View Post
    JSo far every hind through the larder has been pregnant with stag calves. My understanding, limited as it may be, is that hinds have to be in a better condition to mother a stag than they do to mother a hind i.e. good condition = stag calf, poorer condition = hind calf.
    I think this is referred to in the Clutton-Brock book based on the reds on Rum and I also have it in my mind that there was a paper in Nature some years back, maybe not deer though, but which indicated that the condition of the mother could determine the sex of a calf. I must read the Clutton-Brock again to see exactly what he says. What I do remember is that he believed that stags which got a very good start in life tended to be bigger stags for the whole duration of their lives but that this sort of nurturing took more out of the hind and even a hind raising a relatively poor stag calf had to put more into it than when raising a hind calf. I don't recall if he clearly indicated if he thought that hinds in good condition were more likely to have stags but will check up on it as I have the book somewhere here.

    I can't comment on reds but certainly the sika in Ireland are in great condition at the minute and have more fat on them than I've ever seen. If it is anything like Lewis then you Uibhisteachs have had a pretty easy few years recently so the deer should be doing well.
    For self catering accommodation on the Isle of Lewis please visit:
    http://www.7south.co.uk/




  4. #4
    Right, here is what Clutton-Brock says in the summary of the chapter on the subject:

    "There was no evidence that the sex ratio of red deer calves in our study area varied with factors likely to affect the mother's body condition, though there was a tendency for male calves to be born earlier in the season than females."

    Now this is a relatively old book and maybe there has been newer research on the subject but it is the only book I own that addresses the subject. I wish I could remember even what animal was involved in the Nature paper as I remember finding it very interesting at the time, but the time might have been nearly 10 years ago :-)
    For self catering accommodation on the Isle of Lewis please visit:
    http://www.7south.co.uk/




  5. #5
    Thanks for that Caorach. We've had pretty easy winters compared to the mainland, although the gales don't seem to want to stop at the moment.

    My point is all what's been told to me by past keepers, experience more than any real research as far as I know. Interesting that there seems to be an element of truth in it, although very little and I would class it as a myth based on that research. I own 50 Texel sheep and have far more experience with sheep than I do deer so I tend to compare and contrast and they're not that different. Couldn't get my head around the fact that better condition would consistently produce males although no doubt about it that the males would take more out of the mother so perhaps Mother Nature does play her part. Looking back on past lambing returns, it's 50/50 really and the greedier sheep tend to have females so there goes that conclusion. These sheep might have that element bred out of them though as they're commercial through and through whereas the deer are 100% wild, originally from the Isle of Rum.

    Interesting about the males being born quicker. Assuming it's the same as in humans and in sheep, that the baby itself decides when it is born when it is too big for the womb, the male of the species must grow quicker and is therefore ready to be born earlier. Or perhaps the hind is in better condition earlier in the rut so conceives a stag, the later hind is in poorer condition as the rut goes on and the weather worsens so conceives a hind? Who knows by the sounds of it. Interesting stuff.

    Good to hear about your Sika. As a matter of interest, a'bheil Gaidhlig agad? Sounds like it based on your user name and 'Uibhisteachs'


    Scott

  6. #6
    Are these hind weights, feet head off and clean

  7. #7
    No sorry these are hill weights. Gralloched but head, feet and pluck included.

  8. #8
    last 6 hinds I culled, gralloched, head and legs off ranged between 38 and 44 kg's, calves not included but yearling hinds are. All hinds shot this year have not been pregnant, which I found astonishing but tis' true.

  9. #9
    I dragged one off the hill that was 70kg this year (hill weight) had a couple of 'emotional' moments during that drag!

    Learnt a a couple of things , I'm not fit enough , look at the terrain BEFORE you shoot it , ghillies radios don't work if you shoot a fatty !
    Right where's those stones , I'll start !

  10. #10
    I got a big ol' girl a while back, 79kg head and legs off clean. I nearly busted my gut dragging her so decided i would go and look for some help. Didnt find anyone to help but i did find a wobbly old wheel barrow that nearly made me weep with joy when i found it. That was an eyes bigger than belly experience let me tell you. Best bit about the tough extractions is they are the hunts that survive in the memory banks.

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