The red deer, or European deer (old name) is our largest ungulate. It lives in almost all of Europe, except for the northern parts of Scandinavia and Russia. Its occurrence reaches as far as Western Asia and Asia Minor. It lives in these areas in different forms.
For example, the Carpathian deer, which occurs in eastern Slovakia and is significantly larger than the form of deer that occurs from western Slovakia, through the Czech Republic and further west, the so-called Central European deer. The coloring is also different, when this form has a distinct mane on the neck in the summer coat and a brownish-red coloring. In contrast, the Carpathian form is more grayish to brown.
The weight of the Central European red deer is around 150 kg, the body length is around two meters. The height at the withers is around 150 cm, while the Carpathian form can reach up to 250 kg. The body is more massive and at the same time reaches even more massive antlers.
One of the main motivations for hunting a deer is its massive, spreading antlers. The deer has typical stag-like, symmetrical antlers. This antler becomes stronger and more powerful with age.
Already in the first year of life (about the 6th month of life), the deer puts on spikes without roses, which it sheds in the following year (April/May). Subsequently, he immediately begins to grow new antlers, which he has privileges. It can be a fallow deer, but also this developmental stage can be skipped by a promising deer and it grows a six-pack right away. On each stem (one antler) it has three privileges. In this way, with advancing age, we can mark eight-year-olds, ten-year-olds and twenty-four-year-olds. Of course, deer can be stronger.
As he gets older, he grows massive antlers. However, this changes around the 12th year of life, when a turning point occurs and the deer begins to lose the mass of its antlers. Such a deer is called a fallback deer.
Deer shed their antlers from February to April. Old deer shed first. The youngest deer do not shed until May. They immediately grow new and stronger antlers, which are covered with chaff. The chaff is an extremely blood-filled, delicate cuticle that covers the entire surface of the antlers and thanks to this, the antlers are nourished.
Antlers take about five months to develop. This is followed by the beating of the antlers against various types of wood and trees. In this way, it gets rid of the unnecessary lye. Depending on the types of wood found in the deer’s environment, the antlers have a specific coloring. Some antlers may be darker than others, depending on what kind of wood the deer hammered the antlers on.
The antler is bony, which means that after being hammered out, it is completely without any nutrition, blood supply or nerves.
Deer inhabit both wooded and open landscapes. Today they are found in mountainous areas, where there are extensive forest complexes of mature forests alternating with smaller meadows and scrub and glades.
Deer look for deciduous and mixed forests. They are inhabitants of extensive floodplain forests in the lowlands. Such an area is in the Czech Republic in the south of Bohemia. Here, the deer passes by the elk, which inhabits the Třeboň area in the order of units to low tens of pieces. These extensive wetlands, floodplain forests and swamps are a suitable habitat for moose, but also enough space for deer. Similar to southern Bohemia, red deer are also found in southern Moravia.
At the same time, he looks for places where he can roll in the mud, which he particularly likes. Such places are called “slurries”.
Nowadays, there are a number of branches that have an inherent part in deer breeding in the Czech lands. Their efforts throughout the centuries can be seen in the massive deer trophies that are sought after by hunters from all over the world.
Deer live mainly in herds. Only old deer are loners. However, these groups or herds are made up of either males or females with young. Only during the rut do deer come into contact with doe.
In late summer, deer come into heat and from about mid-September to mid-October, the typical majestic stag honking echoes through the woods. There is probably nothing more for the hunter if he experiences the deer rut with his own eyes and ears. Deer fight for their territories. He defends his harem of doe. Deer fights break out and let their hooves know about each other by honking who is the boss here.
After estrus, these harems break up again and the deer return to separate herds.
A doe lays one, exceptionally up to two fawns in May to June. Such a fawn is dependent on the doe for 3 to 4 months, which leads to the next heat, however, the doe accompanies the fawn until the birth of other fawns. Then it only separates.
The deer lives a rather hidden way of life throughout the day and comes out to graze at dusk or just before dawn. The rest of the day is spent in thickets or bushes.
The best time to hunt a deer is its rut, which takes place from mid-September to mid-October. Of course, depending on the weather and local conditions. During this period, the deer shows itself by honking, is more active and responds to lures, which hunters can try.
Otherwise, the legal period for deer hunting is from July 1. until 31.1. in the Czech Republic. Deer hunting times may vary in other states.
From the daily cycle, hunting is suitable very early in the morning, or just before sunset
The red stag can be hunted in an individual way, tree stand, high seat hunt or game stalking. In recent years, thanks to the higher status of this game, it has been using the method of riden hunt. Which hunting roe deer and fawns, or the first age class of deer.
In other countries, it is also allowed to hunt adult trophy game in this way.
During the rut, you can use the method of attracting deer by calling. It lures by honking imitation sap. Such a lure is not quite in the pocket. It is mostly horn-shaped.
Red stag can be hunted with a ball gun with a minimum output of at least 2,000 J of impact energy at 100 meters. The 7 mm series are mostly suitable calibers. However, when hunting deer, in some cases it is better to use the more powerful calibers of the 8 mm or 9.3 mm series, which have enough energy for a badly placed hit, or in not very accessible terrain. A deer is a very vital animal, which can miss several kilometers if hit in the wrong place.
As a trophy deer are the antlers of red stag, which are the main reason for hunting deer. Cages or “hubbertka” are also usable. Canines are canines in the upper jaw. “Hubertka” is an ossified part in the heart of deer. Its shape resembles a treble clef.
“Hubertka” is a trophy in the Czech Republic or in neighboring coutries.
Deer meat, together with fallow deer meat and roe deer meat, is one of the highest quality meats that our forest board can offer. The meat is red with a low proportion of fat and a high proportion of protein. The meat is characterized by a very delicate taste and a pleasant aroma. As with fallow deer meat, deer meat is also suitable for whole roasting, grilling and other culinary preparations.
We hope you found this article useful!
Your Huntastic Team