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  • 18 Post By Flyblown
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Thread: Do you know how lucky we are?

  1. #1
    Member Flyblown's Avatar
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    Do you know how lucky we are?

    Have been in Scotland the past couple of weeks and have enjoyed getting out in the forests and hills, stalking in on lots of roe deer (its the beginning of their rut) and a whole bunch of reds, in the Cairngorms and Galloways.

    Not hunting, just easy walking in the woods with the wife and our boys, and a little bit of more adventurous hiking higher up.

    Man the Scottish reds are poxy bloody things, way smaller and thinner and just not a patch on ours. Like really scrawny hinds. The stags are in the later stages of shedding their velvet and you can easily spot their rubbing trees. And they're small, body wise. Some good heads, but probably two thirds the weight.

    And the hunting of them? What a rigmarole, and expensive. Have learnt a lot, talking to the locals. It takes a fair bit of very careful listening to understand some of the fellas...

    We are so lucky in NZ. Its been a stark reminder to me how important it us to fight to protect the NZ rural way of life, and our public land hunting heritage. The UK is a strange country, so much has changed since I was last here in 2004, and since I left permanently in 1989. Just like what's happened in NZ, a lot of metropolitan fuckwits want to change things in rural life they haven't a clue about, for no good reason other than own ignorant misconceptions.

    But that's not what I wanted to say, what I wanted to say is that Scottish reds are pisswilly tiddlers compared to ours! Which was a surprise, same species and all, but something I'd forgotten, its 32 years since I last shot a deer in Scotland. Just the quality of the genetics and the feed.
    R93, tikka, stagslayer 12 and 15 others like this.
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  2. #2
    Member Max Headroom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flyblown View Post
    Have been in Scotland the past couple of weeks and have enjoyed getting out in the forests and hills, stalking in on lots of roe deer (its the beginning of their rut) and a whole bunch of reds, in the Cairngorms and Galloways.

    Not hunting, just easy walking in the woods with the wife and our boys, and a little bit of more adventurous hiking higher up.

    Man the Scottish reds are poxy bloody things, way smaller and thinner and just not a patch on ours. Like really scrawny hinds. The stags are in the later stages of shedding their velvet and you can easily spot their rubbing trees. And they're small, body wise. Some good heads, but probably two thirds the weight.

    And the hunting of them? What a rigmarole, and expensive. Have learnt a lot, talking to the locals. It takes a fair bit of very careful listening to understand some of the fellas...

    We are so lucky in NZ. Its been a stark reminder to me how important it us to fight to protect the NZ rural way of life, and our public land hunting heritage. The UK is a strange country, so much has changed since I was last here in 2004, and since I left permanently in 1989. Just like what's happened in NZ, a lot of metropolitan fuckwits want to change things in rural life they haven't a clue about, for no good reason other than own ignorant misconceptions.

    But that's not what I wanted to say, what I wanted to say is that Scottish reds are pisswilly tiddlers compared to ours! Which was a surprise, same species and all, but something I'd forgotten, its 32 years since I last shot a deer in Scotland. Just the quality of the genetics and the feed.
    Were the introduced reds to NZ the cream of the crop ?

  3. #3
    Member Flyblown's Avatar
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    Some were, some came from the lowland herds in England which ate generally much bigger. But reds overall supersized once they got to NZ, due to the vastly superior feed.
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    Thanks for the insight bro, was watching a driven hunt for reds over there the other day and I noticed they looked quite different it makes sense now cheers

  5. #5
    Member Max Headroom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flyblown View Post
    Some were, some came from the lowland herds in England which ate generally much bigger. But reds overall supersized once they got to NZ, due to the vastly superior feed.
    I guess that makes sense. As an example of that idea, the Dutch are said to be the tallest race in Europe, partly because of the quality of their nutrition.

  6. #6
    Numzane Spudattack's Avatar
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    Thought this thread was going to be about how promiscuous our women are......oh welll


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    "Here's the deal I'm the best there is. Plain and simple. I wake up in the morning and I piss excellence."

  7. #7
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    I saw the same thing in Australia about 1994. In the "Grampians" in vic. A bunch of red deer came out on the empty lot at the end of our suburban road and they were small and scrawny. I put it down to a dry unproductive climate and vegetation evolved with a full complement of well adapted native herbivores for hundreds of thousands of years. Essentially there was no ecological niche for red deer there.

  8. #8
    Member Daithi's Avatar
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    I did a fair bit of stalking/culling in the Grampians(the Scottish ones), and yeah the heads aint great. Same with the roe in the Highlands, or at least where I was with them, Loch Ericht, Dornoch, Strontian-Ardgour areas mainly. Still, it was good fun, great exercise, and nice to experience a different way of doing it. I was never allowed to take a buck, only does on the roe, but awesome creatures. Also failed in my attempts at getting a snipe or woodcock(had a crack at them in West of Ireland a few times).

  9. #9
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    I did quite a lot of stalking in Sutherland at the top end of Scotland and never shot any particularly large or impressive animals. That was partly because the stalkers want to retain their dominant stags, so it was management stalking rather than trophy hunting. That said, my girlfriend (now wife) shot a heavy 14 point stag up there in 2010.

    The roe there are truly tiny compared to the animals in the south of England.

    As flyblown says, lowland reds are different animals altogether. In Norfolk there are forest reds that are huge. I was out with a mate who shot a big stag that went 180 Kg in the larder gutted and legs and head off. That bugger took hours to recover, gut and shift into the larder. I saw bigger ones than him over the years too.

  10. #10
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    As any farmer will tell you, what you put down an animals throat is more important than it’s genetics when it comes to growth and size. Once you get good nutrition, genetics comes into play. Average looking animals can have good genetics but can only show it if they are in the right environments.


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  11. #11
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    One of the estate stalkers in Scotland told me a story on the hill that bears that out. He said a mate of his caught a stag calf and kept it well fed in one of his paddocks. It developed into big Royal with very heavy timber and was far more impressive than the wild stags. That suggests that the genetics are there but the feed and conditions don’t allow the animals to reach that potential.
    timattalon and xtightg like this.

  12. #12
    Throbbing Member Dorkus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dicko View Post
    As any farmer will tell you, what you put down an animals throat is more important than it’s genetics when it comes to growth and size. Once you get good nutrition, genetics comes into play. Average looking animals can have good genetics but can only show it if they are in the right environments.


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    I was listening to the Meat Eater podcast a couple of months ago. Fascinating discussion with a biologist who studied blacktail deer from two distinct geographical areas in the USA, one with particularly good genetics for large bodied animals and good heads, the other famous for crap heads.

    Essentially, what they found was that genetics had next to nothing to do with it. They took a 1 day old fawn from each area, live captured and raised in a monitored and controlled environment with the same amount of feed/exercise etc. The one from the "good" area grew huge with impressive antlers and the other one never got big or grew real timber. They then mated these stags with captive hinds (from both areas to remove issues around the mother's genetics). Their offspring turned out to be about the same size (huge) and with similar antler size (the stag from the "poor" genetic line had double the antler growth of his dad). They expect that there will be no determinable difference in the two blood lines by the next generation (when considering body size and antler growth).

    The conclusion they reached is that the genetics had very little to do with it, and in fact what drove the "good" vs "poor" heads and body size was the gestational nutrition available to the mother. In areas where the pregnant hind has ample feed and nutrients the fawn gets a massive head start, and no matter how good conditions after-birth are, the stag who's mum didn't get as much tucker will never catch up.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dicko View Post
    As any farmer will tell you, what you put down an animals throat is more important than it’s genetics when it comes to growth and size. Once you get good nutrition, genetics comes into play. Average looking animals can have good genetics but can only show it if they are in the right environments.
    As the old farming saying goes; "90% feeding; 10% breeding" is the key to good animals

 

 

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