A red stag is a male deer that is widely found in Scotland, the United Kingdom, as well as here in the United States. Female red stags are called hinds. Red stags are popular among trophy hunters because of their branched antlers which can reach up to one meter in width. In order to lead a successful hunt, one must have a deep understanding of this majestic creature. This means understanding how they interact with the world around them as well as each other. Understanding red stag mating behavior is one of the many ways you can gather a greater understanding about your prey.
It’s important to note that red stags will shed those prize-winning antlers each year and grow new ones. Their antlers grow at a fast clip for two to four months. Then, during the summer months, a higher testosterone level kicks in slowing the antler growth as the red stags prepare for their mating season. This leads to blood and nutrient supply to the antlers to be cut off. As the red stags rub their antlers against trees, the antlers begin the process of falling off until eventually there is nothing left. This tedious process is repeated each and every year of a red stag’s life.
Red Stag Mating Behavior During Mating Season
To understand red stag mating behavior, we must first examine how they behave during mating season. Red stag mating season runs from September through early October and is typically referred to as the rut. Red stags take their mating time very seriously as they are extremely competitive as they search for hinds. They will typically compete for hinds by showing elaborate displays of dominance such as roaring, parallel walks, and fighting. At times, these competitive battles do turn violent and can result in serious injury and sometimes even death.
When it comes to red stag mating behavior, they are quite the breeders. They typically mate with more than one hind during the season. Many of the older red stags will actually have a harem of ruts, keeping as many as 20 hinds for himself. In order to keep his harem together, a red stag can typically be heard letting out loud roars. It seems to work because the hinds tend to be most attracted to the red stags that roar often and are the loudest.
Roaring is typically heard during late dawn and early evening hours when red stags and hinds are most active. During this time, a red stag will usually mate with a hind four times before moving on to another. But, after the mating season is over both the red stags and hinds retreat and separate until the next mating season rolls around. They typically are not found together if it is not mating season.
More Red Stag Mating Behavior
Red stags tend to lose weight during mating season. So, when they go back into their surroundings they will be on the prowl for as much food as they can find in order to regain strength and stamina. Time is of the essence. As winter approaches they must find enough food to sustain themselves in order to survive until spring arrives.
Once a hind becomes pregnant, the gestation period usually lasts 240-262 days, so about 8 months or a little more. She will typically give birth to one calf at a time. Twin births are rare. After giving birth, the hind will typically go into hiding with her young so they can both get stronger. Calves are known to listen to their mothers and stay in one place as the hinds go out and find food.
After birth, the calf will stay with its mother for a few weeks. It usually takes about two-months for a calf to be completely weaned. In about a year or two, the calves are ready to leave. The males usually going off into the herd while the females stay with their mothers.
Red stags are interesting animals in their behavior and their appearance, making them attractive to hunters. At Squaw Mountain Ranch in Texas, red stags are sought after for their antlers, making them prime targets for trophy hunts. Since there are no seasonal restrictions on hunting red stags in Texas, hunters have access year round.
Call Squaw Mountain today at 830-275-3277 to find out more about red stag mating behavior and the variety of red stag hunting packages available.