Exotic Bow Hunting in East Texas

About the Exotics: Red Stag


Red Stag (i.e. Red Deer)

Author Mikayla Perry


Mikayla Perry, Author of this blog post

     Red Deer, often called Red Stag when male, is one of the largest deer in existence. They come in fourth right behind Moose, Elk, and Sambar Deer. Their towering height and their trademark “roar” are some defining features of the Red Deer.
   Red Deer are originally native to the Atlas Region, between Morocco and Tunisia of northwest Africa; being the only species of deer to inhabit Africa. Over the years, they have been introduced to many places, including the U.S., New Zealand, and Peru to name a select few.  
    Red Deer have four chambered stomachs, much like your average cow. They are closely related to the slightly larger American Elk or wapiti (found in North America and eastern parts of Asia). The Elk had been called a subspecies of Red Deer for a period of time before being declared their own species. It has been speculated that the ancestor of all red deer were found somewhere in Asia and were similar to that of Sika Deer.
   Red Deer are plentiful in numbers, thanks to massive efforts of conservation and breeding, especially in the United Kingdom. They were once relatively rare in certain parts of Europe, they were never near extinction. Although they are not exactly in danger of extinction itself, Africa has shown signs of the Red Deer population declining.
   There are slight variations in the subspecies of Red Deer, mostly in their antlers and height. The smallest of the subspecies would be the Corsican Red Deer, found in Corsica and Sardinia. The largest subspecies would be the Caspian Red Deer or (maral), which happen to be found in Asia Minor and the Caucasus Region to the west of the Caspian Sea. Female Red Deer are often smaller than their male counterparts.
   The male (stag or hart) Red Deer can weigh 350 to 530 pounds, the female (hind) is more often found to be around 260 to 370 pounds. The stags are the only ones who grow antlers, shedding

usually around the end of winter and growing back the following spring. During the spring they go through what is called a “velvet”, where a certain flesh, resembling that of the velvet fabric, coats the antlers. Depending on the subspecies of the Red Deer, the antlers will vary in size and shape.
    Rarely, when a stag that grows antlers with no “tines” will then be called a “switch”, while those who do not grow horns are known as a “hummel”.
    During the autumnal time, all Red Deer grow thicker coats of fur, to help protect them from the cold. Fall is also the time when some of the males will grow a “neck mane”. Just like their height and antlers, their autumn/fall coats will vary given the subspecies. During spring they will shed this coat for the coming summer, often seen rubbing against tree trunks and other surfaces to rid themselves of the thick fur.
   Some Red Deer may have some spots on their back during the summer months.
It is said that there are nine subspecies of Red Deer, three as Endangered, one as Near Threatened, one as Vulnerable, and four as not having enough data to say for sure. The species as a whole is listed as Least Concern by the ISU, however, this was when the Red Deer subspecies were speculated to all be of one species.

   Red Deer usually tend to herd with the same sex. During what is known as the “rut”, the males will compete for the females and defend those they have won over. Males often challenge each other for a choice female. The rut lasts from August to early winter. Dominate males can even acquire a “harem” of hinds to defend from less “attractive” males.
   Males who are weak or sick at the beginning of the rut are less likely to make it through peak conception time. Males often lose weight during the rut, refusing to eat over the desire to breed. The males who do acquire a harem can lose up to 20% of their body weight.
  Once breeding season has passed and the males shed their antlers, it is not uncommon for the males to form bachelor herds.
    On our ranch we give these large deer plenty of space to roam, graze, and thrive. We try to keep our genetics strong and healthy, hoping for even better offspring for the years to come.
  Red Deer are often known for their trademark “roar”, and ours are no different. If you are patient, or call with the right tone, you might see or hear our Red Deer in the field.
  Pricing is listed on our website under Price Sheet.

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