sika heads

stone

Well-Known Member
hi all
a few weeks a go i went roe stalking with morena , though we saw a lot roe does we saw no bucks except those of sika (sorry sika stags and spikers)
what i did notice was the strange array of colours they came in, as all the previuos sika i hav ever seen and shot were all black but also noticed that one stag in paticular was in hard horn and the antlers were only short 6 pointers something that another stalker i used to go with also pointed this out that all the sika on his ground never made 8 points , and a good specimen on his lease was a tall 6 pointer,
is this just the norm for the west coast of scotland, or hav i never been that lucky to see an 8 pointer yet
many thanks in advance
stone
 

stag1933

Well-Known Member
Sika.

A typical ADULT Jap. Sika Stag [Nippon nippon.] has the capability of being an 8 pointer, indeeed most are.
It may be that the 6 pointers only on your friends area are genetically
faulty or are being shot before their potential shows.
Colour varies according to the time of year and in September onwards they wear their black jacket with the prominent light caudal patch clearly visible.
Summer coat can be chestnut red with light flank spots.
I presume the black ones you shot were taken after September.
Below is a pic. of a young Wicklow Stag taken in October

 

The Mole

Well-Known Member
Further to what stag1933 has said, it's worth noting that British wild sika are generally not pure Japanese - there was a lot of Manchurian & Formoson blood mixed in during the earlier introductions. If you compare a wild sika with pure park nippon nippon there's quite a size difference (pure Japs are a bit smaller, but do typically produce 8 point heads as adults) .
 

stone

Well-Known Member
once again ,thanks stagg for these pics, they are a pleasure to look at .
most of the sika we saw were chestnut coloured with white spots on their flank and one was black ,
mole
thanks for that as i know very little about sika , so they are a learning curve for me now ,all the sika i hav shot were quite small in weight with the 6 point stagg only weighing i think 75lbs dressed out and the hinds were between 35lbs-50lbs, with one hind reaching 70lbs but we thought this may of been a hybrid, these were shot not that far from campbell town on the west coast
many thanks
stone
while writing this out wsm snook in
with more info i did not know , but all the sika with morena were in black velvet except the one stagg that was in hard horn
 

sikamalc

Administrator
Site Staff
The other thing to look for in Manchurian and Japs is the antler formation, Japs tend to be stright in appearance whilst Manchurian tend to spreadout to the side more, and do not appear as straight.

The heaviest wild Jap Sika Stag I have seen shot was with a client of mine about 4 years back. It weighed I think about 155lbs clean. It was a huge 8 pointer taken out of a forest that stretches along the northern edge of the Dornoch Firth in Scotland. In general Scottish Sika Stags weigh in between 80lbs to 95lbs during the rut and when they are run, although as in most cases there are exceptions.

The other area I have access to on the west coast near Ullapool has only recently over the last few years had Sika turning up. It may be that the poor quality of head you saw Stone was poor breeding, and or feed. I have noticed that although they thrive in the ideal wet habitat in the highlands, they rarely put on the huge amount of weight that the Dorset Sika do, plus the hinds in Dorset usually weight in at about 15lbs more. This is most likely due to better feed available and milder winters.
 

JAYB

Administrator
Site Staff
I got one last year that was 115 lb as he was popped into the chiller, he was an eight pointer, with the typical jap straight antler arrangement. I always think they should be taller for their weight.

John
 

stag1933

Well-Known Member
Sika.

The Wicklow Sika [Nippon nippon] tend to be narrow as a rule at about 36 to 40 CM tip to tip but I have one on the wall here which is 56 CM, I think it was a Bronze medal.
Photo below of a Wicklow Stag I came upon unexpectedly one morning.
A combination of poor light, a long lense and a slow shutter speed spoiled the picture, however that Stag is typical of those in Co. Wicklow, Eire.
It too would have been a medal I feel sure.

HWH.

 

stone

Well-Known Member
blooming eck stagg
that is a monster compared to what i hav seen and shot, maybe i need to save a bit more might ,get to see bigger in the future ;)
stone
 

stag1933

Well-Known Member
Sika.

A useful Wicklow Stag shot last year by my companion.
[A youngish Stag which would have have got better in a year or two.]

HWH.

 

stag1933

Well-Known Member
Sika

Those weights are similar to the Co. Wicklow ones.
One year I brought 5 back with me and the total weight was 502 pounds.
These were of all age groups and were in their shirts but with head and legs off.
It takes a good beastie though to top 160lb clean.

HWH.
 

JAYB

Administrator
Site Staff
I always wanted to meet up with this young man in a couple of years after this, our one and only meeting.



Someone did though I am sure of that.

John
 

stone

Well-Known Member
sikamalc said:
The other thing to look for in Manchurian and Japs is the antler formation, Japs tend to be straight in appearance whilst Manchurian tend to spreadout to the side more, and do not appear as straight.
.
that was my next query ,but 300wsm beat me to it with the the jap and manchurian antlers in the same picture
great minds think alike ;)
 

paul k

Well-Known Member
I'm no great expert on sika, having never shot one and only seeing few in the wild, (mostly in Sussex mixed in with fallow), but from reading Whitehead and Carne it would seem that the general concensus is that there is very little non Nippon blood in the wild UK population.

There are exceptions and Whitehead records that some of the sika in the Challock area of Kent that originated from Surrendon Dering Park had some Manchurian blood in them. However he says that he does not believe that were any pure Manchurian sika at large in the UK at the time of writing (1963) although according to Carne later contradicting this by suggesting that the Bowland sika might be Manchurian because of their larger body weights. However it would not be impossible for there to be some influence from red x sika hybrids in that area.

Carne also suggests that the sika in Wychwood forest in Oxfordshire are of Formosan descent.

All of the trophy heads that I have seen in the UK are of the taller and narrower Nippon style except sometimes where there is a red hybrid influence and this will be the case in Wicklow and many parts of Scotland where a 100% pure sika or red might be a thing of the past.

I think that reality is that whilst the genetic profile of most UK sika is substantially Nippon there may not be many 100% pure Nippon populations and some populations have other sika subspecies blood in them and possibly a bit of red as well.
 

stag1933

Well-Known Member
Sika.

Below is a combination of 3 photos depicting the same Stag but from different viewpoints.
It was shot by an Irish friend in Co. Wicklow.
The coalesced pedicles are a rare and extremely unusual characteristic in a Sika.

 

sikamalc

Administrator
Site Staff


Big Scottish Sika off my lease in October well in rut and in winter coat. This weighed about 110lbs which is not a bad weight for a Scottish Jap in rut.



Nice trophy Manchurian taken by my client I was guiding on a fenced area in late September, still in summer coat.

Notice the difference between the heads, wide for Manchurian and straight for Japanese.
 

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