The deer is considered to be one of the most common animals that are found around the world. Whether you have seen one in person or just on the internet, we all know that deer are typically brown. However, did you know of a rarer deer which is color red? Red deer are found in particular parts of the world. These are majestic creatures with a gorgeous coat of any red shade. Curious to know more? Well, we will tell you some things about red stag deer in this article.
Red Stag Deer: A Closer Look
The red deer, also scientifically called the Cervus elaphus, is the largest species of deer on the planet. In fact, in the United Kingdom, they are considered to be the largest land mammal.
There are fossil records that indicate that the red deer may have been around for 12 million years or even more. How they survived is still considered to be a mystery. It is also believed that the deer was significantly larger than what they are today.
The red deer are considered to be a native species having migrated from Europe to Britain about 11,000 years ago. The Mesolithic man extensively used them as a food source and skins. Their antlers and bones were also made into tools. However, since the Neolithic men invested their time in the development of agriculture, they began to clear swathes of forest in order to make space for fields. This led to the decline of the population of the red deer.
The red deer was then confined to Scottish Highlands which is at the south-west of England. In fact, there was even a time when they were freely allowed to roam in Britain so that the Royals could hunt them.
- Weight and Size
The red deer stand anywhere between 107 and 137 centimeters and weigh between 90 and 190 kilograms. Hinds (female red deer) stand somewhere between 107 and 122 centimeters and weigh between 63 and 120 kilograms.
- Coat Color
They are known as the red deer due to their coat which is very gorgeous, but no one shade of red is characteristic of them. That means that each one of them has a different shade of the color. In some areas of the world, they tend to have a very dark red colored coat, almost similar to the color brown.During the winter season, their coat tends to change color and looks more like the color gray. Hence, many people tend to confuse this breed with other species. This change in appearance gives them a chance to blend into the surroundings throughout the year.
Red stag deer have amazing antlers that typically have six points, but they can have as many as 15 points which signify dominance. Likewise, these antlers cover quite a bit of distance as they span outwards. With such unique characteristics, these antlers are one of the main reasons why people want to hunt them.
Red deer stags and hinds prefer staying in separate groups for most of the time in the year. The stags will group into something called the ‘bachelor herds’ whereas the hinds tend to be in groups that have one dominant deer and her daughters. During a period of 24 hours, they are most active during the evening which could be possibly due to lack of human activity. The deer’s diet is pretty much the same as other deer and they feed on tree browse, shrubs, leaves, sedges, grasses, and rushes.
The red stag and hind deer tend to mate during late September and November—a period known as the rut. During this time, mature stags tend to invest a lot of their time and effort to compete with other stags to mate with the hinds. Stags tend to size each other up by parallel walking and roaring contest, without being violent. Stags that match evenly take it up a notch by locking their antlers and pushing each other so that they can throw the other off balance. They tend to even twist the other. Such leads to either injury that is serious in nature and in some cases even death.
After the rut period, the stag and the hind go their separate paths and give birth to usually a single deer. This occurs anywhere between late May and early June. Female calves stay with their mother while the male offsprings go into the wild once they reach one or two years of age.
Red Deer Range
The red deer is distributed very patchily in the United Kingdom. They are widespread and are locally common in the northern part of Scotland, and the northwestern part of England represent the native stock. The ones found in the south-west part of Scotland and most of England are mostly the ones that have escaped deer parks. It is said that the population of the red deer is on a steady increase in most areas, but the numbers seem to be dwindling in Wales.
The red deer are also found in countries like Iran, and certain countries in Western and Central Asia. These days they are introduced in other areas too such as the United States of America, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, Argentina, Chile and a few others.
One of the biggest predators of the red deer in the wild is the wolf, but the population of wolves in several areas is on a steady decline, which led to the increasing population of the red deer. However, since they are being reintroduced in various areas, it affects the population of the red deer. People have shown their disappointment about this. Nonetheless, experts believe that having the wolves reintroduced will balance out the population as there is enough room for both these animals to survive.
Humans are also one of the biggest predators as they love hunting red deer since they can offer a ton of meat. Others tend to hunt them mainly for their antlers or to be able to do taxidermy on an animal this large.
The red stag deer is a marvelous creature with a gorgeous coat of red fur and amazing large antlers. It is considered to be a smart animal and also British’s wildlife spectacle. We hope this article offered you with some of the necessary information about this amazing and distinguished animal for you to be able to spot them.
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