Sika Stags

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I mentioned in my last post that Sika Stags are much more elusive than the hinds; you won’t find them feeding alongside the pigs. But when you have the opportunity the mature stags are well worth watching out for. The stag picutred above is a good example with well-developed and balanced antlers and a powerful body. I photographed him on the hill at dusk, shepherding a group of hinds in front of him.

Sika are strong and aggressive and, like Red Deer, the stags will fight each other for possession of hinds during the rut. The Sika Stag pictured below had clearly been in a fight and come out the worse for it. I photographed him quite close to the stag above and it may well have been him he had been fighting. Like the other stag he has a big powerful body and they must have bene quite equally matched for a fight even to have started. It must have been quite a scrap as he has lost both antlers and he was walking very slowly and tenderly. I suspect his body is a mess of cuts and bruises.

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