In this article you will learn everything you need to know about the red deer stag. You’ll learn how to identify, locate, hunt & cook the deer as well as more general interesting facts. This article is not just about how to hunt a red deer stag you’ll learn a lot more than that!
ABOUT THE RED DEER STAG
The red deer stag is one of the largest species of deer you can find anywhere in the world. Although they vary significantly in size as do all deer depending the quality of the food/vitamins & minerals it’s surviving on. The red deer is distributed in many parts of the world and has shown that it can adapt and survive really well! They are perhaps most famed in Britain and New Zealand where they are hunted for meat and conservation purposes.
Red deer are ruminants which means they have a four chambered stomach. The deer have never been close to extinction and thrive all over the world. Because of there ability to thrive red deer come under scrutiny at times. As they are responsible for eating farmers crops, an increase in road traffic accidents and stopping the growth of young trees. This is true, but their numbers can often be kept in order through the use of selective correct culling. A similar deer to the red deer and often compared to is the Elk or Wapiti deer.
DESCRIPTION OF THE RED STAG DEER
The red deer is the fourth largest species of deer. The larger species include the Elk, Moose and Samba deer. As I have already mentioned it is a ruminant. Which means it eats it’s food in two stages, has a four chambered stomach and has an even number of toes on each hoof. Red deer will have subtle differences in different places. For example, European red deer have a longer tail when comparing them to their North American relatives. The New Zealand relatives tend to have a much larger set of antlers than the Europeans.
Red stag deer can vary considerably in localized regions as-well. For example red deer in Britain have huge weight differences depending on where you find them. On the hills in Scotland a red stag deer over a 150 kg would be considered to be very large indeed. However down in the South of England a large red stag deer can be upwards of 200 kg. This is down to the quality of their nutritional intake. A deer on the hills in Scotland is exposed to far harsher winters. It hasn’t got the access to food like a south England deer has.
The red stag deer can grow that large in New Zealand because of it’s high quality nutritional intake it can rival the size of an elk. Often the best time to spot red stag deer is during the rutting season. The rutting season will vary depending on the location of the deer. It’s normally during the colder months. During this time the deer will stray from it’s usual habitats and become more aggressive. They are often easier to see as well as they will roll around in mud making themselves black to stand out better.
FEMALE RED DEER
The female red deer is a much smaller animal and for large parts of the year will remain separate from the red stag deer. They are often found in small groups of female deer. The female red deer called a “hind” does not grow antlers like a male red deer bar the very rare phenom. Therefore, most of the time the sex is instantly distinguishable bar when the males have cast their antlers. In this case, the size of the deer and other male body parts are used to distinguish the sex.
HABITAT & DISTRIBUTION
Red deer stags are distributed across many parts of the world. Europe, North Africa, Iran, New Zealand, Australia, Argentina and Chile are where they are predominantly found.
Red stag deer are normally found not to far from cover such as woodland and shrubs. Even hill red deer in Scotland will have areas that they can return to if they are disturbed. Wild red deer like most deer are very shy and will find areas where there is not much human disturbance. If this is not achievable they often become nocturnal and find places to hide during the day.
A red stag deer’s diet consists mainly of grasses but they will eat a range of plants which include tree shoots, shrubs and rushes. This deer can cope with a large range in temperature as well. Temperatures below freezing and well above freezing. Because of it’s adaptability it can survive in most places providing it has food to consume.
HUNTING & CONSERVATION OF RED STAG DEER
The hunting of red stag deer is normally conducted in the rutting season. This is because they are are less cautious which makes them easier to locate and therefore shoot. A red stag deer during the rutting season will hoard a group of red hinds. He will stop eating during this period and roar to try and exert his dominance over other males. This roar can be copied by using a man made caller which can be used to call a red stag in and shoot it.
The red stag deer has a short season which the deer are allowed to be shot in in most places. This open season has been carefully worked out to allow stags and hinds to breed together and move to different feeding grounds. Although some red deer can be shot all year round in places where they need to rapidly reduce the population. Such places may be where there has been an increase in road traffic accidents! Although a special license will have to be obtained for this purpose.
The lack of natural predators for many populations mean that deer management through culling is essential. And more often than not the only viable option that makes sense environmentally and economically. Therefore, in places careful selective culling operations and management systems are put into place. These culling practices aim to keep a deer heard at a sustainable level and increase the genetics of the species. This is done by selecting animals that have poor genetic features to cull and leaving the better quality animals.
VIDEO OF HUNTING RED STAG DEER
Here is a brilliant video by Field Sports Britain” on YouTube showing the life a red deer in Britain:
RED STAG DEER RECIPES
If you have the privilege of hunting your own red stag deer then you will know it’s essential to consume the whole carcass. You appreciate the wild meat that you’ve just harvested far more than you would ever appreciate shop bought meat. If you cant access your own hunting then support your local game dealer and buy as much off him/her as you can.
There are so many benefits to eating deer meat! Not only is it proven to be much healthier for you than any shop bought meat. But it’s also ethically much better. You learn to appreciate every morsel because it’s such a personnel experience. You do not want to waste any of the beautiful red stag deer you have just shot. That’s something that the general public have lost touch with and the key reason why there is so much food wastage. Other major benefits include, reduction in plastic, reduction in antibiotics and increase in animal welfare to name a few.
Anyway moving on to recipes here are a couple of websites that I have included that have several tasty meals that you can prepare:
THANK YOU FOR READING MY ARTICLE ON THE RED STAG DEER
Thank you very much for reading this article and I hope it helps you with your exploits. Here at Jake’s Outdoors we are very passionate about our hunting, fishing and all things to do with outdoors. I believe our hunting and fishing community really is special and we experience things that others do not. I think its a very good thing if we can all share out experiences and connect with each other all over the world. This way our community is much stronger and we can better protect each other in this modern society where so many people have lost touch with the outdoors.
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