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Red Stag hunting

The red stag is hunted in many ways; from high seats and towers, by driven hunting, from stalking, with the bow, with rifle etc. The majestic red stag is on the very top of many hunters’ wish lists. They are found in various terrains of open land, agricultural areas, deep forests, fields, and mountains. Many…

The red stag is hunted in many ways; from high seats and towers, by driven hunting, from stalking, with the bow, with rifle etc. The majestic red stag is on the very top of many hunters’ wish lists. They are found in various terrains of open land, agricultural areas, deep forests, fields, and mountains. Many hunters have had their heart stolen by red stag hunting in the rutting time. The mature stags fight for hinds and terrain, and they barely care about anything else during this time. The use of calling can drive the big stags completely mad, and often you will have them answering your call with their ancient deep roar. If you are hunting in mountainous regions, the stalk towards a roaring red stag can be extremely long, and the rutting herd of red deer on a mountainside is a spectacular view. If hunting the red deer during driven hunts, the scenarios are quite different and the shooting distances shorter. Often both hinds and calves are also shot during European driven hunts in the winter time.

The red stag is one of the biggest deer species in the world, and it is found in four different continents. The massive spread of this majestic deer is due to its high status gastronomically and trophy-wise. This has caused the species to be introduced into many countries and continents e.g. Argentina and New Zealand, where it is not originally from. The male red deer is called a stag and the female a hind. Young animals of 0-1,5 years of age are called calves. Only the male carries antlers, with the top of the antlers known to form a crown, when the stag matures. During the rut in the early fall or early winter, according to the continent, the stag creates a rutting spot, from where he marks his territory and tries to keep the hinds close, away from competitors. During the day, the red deer are often inactive, and they mainly feed in the evening and the early morning, some places also being very active at night.

Red stag hunting is for hunters who want a European piece of history!

The trophy of the red stag, the antlers, are highly sought-after, maybe even the most beloved antler of a deer species. A good mature trophy has 12 points, a widespread, and thick and heavy appearance. In some places, even if the antlers are large, there is barely any volume to them, and their weight is very low, due to small amounts of chalk in the earth. In other places, they grow extremely heavy because of earth rich in chalk, and the right diet easily available. In some places, the red stag can have 30 or more points, but this only occurs rarely and in certain gene pools. A red stag is easily recognized for its big body size and the characteristic antlers.

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  • The majestic red stag is the only deer forming a crown at the top of the antlers, hence the Scandinavian name “Kronhjort” meaning crown-deer
  • Red deer are spread over many countries and are hunted in many different ways; stalking, rifle, bow, driven hunting etc
  • The optimal shot placement is in the vital part of the heart and lungs behind its shoulder

Red deer (Cervus elaphus) is one of the biggest deer species in the world. A mature male red stag weighs between 350-530 lbs. on average and has a shoulder height of 3-4 feet. A mature female hind weighs from 265-375 lbs. with a shoulder height similar to the stag. Size and weight differ a lot between the subspecies, some reaching almost 1000 lbs. and others never growing past 200 lbs. The summer coat is reddish brown and in the winter, it is thicker and more brown and greyish. The red deer is found in Europe, Asia and North Africa and has been introduced with amazing success to New Zealand, Argentina, Chile, and Australia.

Only the stag carries antlers, and they take on colour depending on what plants and trees the stag scratches off its velvet against. The antlers differ between the subspecies. For some subspecies, the ‘bez-point’ (the second tip from the base) is the most dominant. This is seen with red deer in Norway, for example, where they rarely form the characteristic crown. The central-European red stag barely has the ‘bez-point’ but commonly forms the crown. A red stag is usually skull-mounted on a wooden board, with the antlers in focus. To reach medal level the trophy must score:
Bronze: 220     Silver: 291 ¼     Gold: 333 1/8 SCI

Most of the year, the red deer stay in groups according to their gender. The females, young males and calves stay together and the mature males live alone or with two or three other mature stags. During the rut, each mature stag will gather as many hinds and calves as possible, and fight off any other intruding stags, to keep the harem to himself. The great roar of the red stag is used to demonstrate the power to intruders, and to attract the interest from far away hinds. If two stags are equally strong, or stubborn, great fights can occur, with the winner taking it all. During the rut, a stag will lose up to 20% of its body weight. A red stag reaches 10-13 years of age in the wild and in rare cases even 15. Red deer are active at first and last light and are mainly found resting during the day.