Red Stag

Red Stag

Red Stag (Cervus elaphus elaphus) Available February – August.

The Trophy of Kings. A native of Europe which was first introduced to New Zealand in 1851, few animals can match the majesty of a Red Stag in full antler. New Zealand’s superior deer habitat and genetics means that our most iconic game animal is, without doubt, the best example of its kind anywhere in the world. The primal roar of a Red Stag is something that has to be experienced to be appreciated – their rutting period is late March- early May.

Red Stags usually feed in the early morning and late afternoon; prime Red Stag hunting time. Well-equipped to evade the hunter with excellent hearing, sense of smell and eyesight that has evolved to pick up movement, Red Deer often graze in groups to increase their chances of detecting danger. The average shoulder height of a male is 1100-1300mm and they roughly weigh between 180-250kg (400-550lb). Female Red Deer, called hinds, are smaller at 950-1050mm shoulder height and weigh approximately 85-140kg (190-310lb).

Notably, the head of a Red Stag is longer and bonier than that of a Sika Deer and they have less of a ‘roman nose’ than a bull Elk, both subspecies of the same Cervus elaphus species. Their ears are pointed and can be longer than half the length of their head. Their Summer coat is typically reddish brown in colour, and their Winter coat is a darker brown or grey brown colour.

Male antlers are grown and cast annually from their second year and are much larger than those of Sika Stags and can approach the size of Elk antlers in terms of beam length and spread. However, what sets the Red Stag apart is the tendency to grow multiple points on the crown of the antler, often coupled with huge mass, to create one of the most awe-inspiring trophies legally available for hunting. Velvet antler growth starts between early September and December (New Zealand Spring) and the dried velvet is frayed from the hard antler between January and March.

As one of New Zealand’s largest and longest established deer properties, High Peak has been providing hunters with world-class Red Stag trophies since the 1980s. Our location in the Rakaia River region puts High Peak in the heart of the most celebrated Red Deer strain in New Zealand, noted for stags with long beam and impressive, multi-pointed crowns. Red Stag is New Zealand’s most wide spread deer species and unsurprisingly, the Red Stag is the primary trophy our clients seek. We have a proud 100% success record to date.

In addition to the game estate stags, we have exclusive access to a small number of genuine free range Rakaia Red Stags on nearby Lake Heron Station.

(It is important to note that genuine free-range stags are significantly smaller than estate stags and we recommend hunters should treat any purported free-range Red Stag scoring over 330 SCI with a degree of skepticism).

Fill out our Online Application Form and we will get back to you with some more information and a detailed quote.

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