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  • 1 Post By LMcNab
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  • 3 Post By Moa Hunter
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Thread: Judging Stag potential.

  1. #1
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    Judging Stag potential.

    Went for a walk last night with the aim playing with some stags and if the opportunity arose, bring home some venison. Unless I came across a monster, I was after a hind or a scrubber. After a close encounter in the bush where I didnt get a good look, a stag appeared on the track I was walking about 50 meters away. I had about 3 seconds to make a call on him and pulled the trigger.

    The point of this post, is that as I walked up on him, I immediately began to doubt my decision. I realised I actually don't know much about what my decision should be based on. I looked at this guy and thought, short and narrow, boom.

    Id like to know more about assessment and be more confident in my decisions and make better decisions going forward.

    Did I make the right call on this guy? If not, why not? What should I look for in the future?

    Look forward to everyone's feedback.

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    Would love for others who have similar questions to share their stags as well so we can all learn.
    Last edited by LMcNab; 23-03-2021 at 11:19 AM.
    Micky Duck likes this.
    The lightbulb was not invented by incrementally improving the candle.

  2. #2
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    This applies for the areas i hunt
    Ok for me i look at the size of the animal, a mature stage will be twice the size of a hind .
    you need time on your side to access the animal.
    Even with a good camera its very hard to judge a stag low in the coronets (i don't own a spotter) near impossible
    Also for me if the stag is feeding you want the antlers to be above the line of his back (that will give you ruffly 30" mark)
    Timber thickness.
    NOT all mature stags have big antlers and timber. @LMcNab to me your stag was a cull stag and has done his time, he looks to be a older stag to me.

  3. #3
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    Looks like a standard young stag to me. Coronet height is a poor indicator of age, more it is an indicator of antler potential. A young stag like yours with low coronets will never be great, whereas the same stag with high coronets is likely to go on.
    Yours has a nice representative shape but without good Brows and Beys he wont ever be a good trophy even though he has reasonable Treys.
    Also looks fat so hope you got every scrap of meat off.
    Micky Duck likes this.
    'Bother' said Pooh, as he chambered another round ... Wong Far King Way

  4. #4
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    Never would have been a trophy stag, top red stags more often than not have 12 points as a 2 year old or 10 points where lack of bey tines prevail. That rule can go out the window a bit if the area is short on feed.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moa Hunter View Post
    Looks like a standard young stag to me. Coronet height is a poor indicator of age, more it is an indicator of antler potential. A young stag like yours with low coronets will never be great, whereas the same stag with high coronets is likely to go on.
    Yours has a nice representative shape but without good Brows and Beys he wont ever be a good trophy even though he has reasonable Treys.
    Also looks fat so hope you got every scrap of meat off.
    Never seen a spiker/young stag with low coronets....just saying...


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  6. #6
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    Five or 6 year old, never going to get any better mate. Typical of most of the heads around home. Good call.
    Sideshow and Micky Duck like this.
    I'm drawn to the mountains and the bush, it's where life is clear, where the world makes the most sense.

  7. #7
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    ^^ Ditto ^^ Better dead than bred
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    @bigbear has put forward some good points on aging a stag.. i’m not expert by any stretch and have only shot a small handful of old stags but something outside the points already mentioned.. just as far as age goes.

    I also look for a big low hanging stomach and look at the animals gait. Young stags tend to carry most of their weight in their back end relative to their shoulder mass and walk with what appears to be a lighter step, carrying their head quite high. Older stags tend to look like a lot of their weight is carried in the front half. This usually expresses itself in the way they walk also, older stags tend to almost shamble along and carry their head not too far from the line of their backbone.

    Of course looking for these things assumes you have time on your side. I reckon @JoshC is on the money, probably not going to get any better, and looks like he’ll be a good eater!

  9. #9
    Almost literate. veitnamcam's Avatar
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    Hard to say without seeing on the hoof but I would guess 4-5 year old.
    He lacks mass, length and weight of antler but Id call him a cull just on his asymmetry.....lacking brow and bey on his left.
    "Hunting and fishing" fucking over licenced firearms owners since ages ago.

  10. #10
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    To judge a animal on the hoof you need time, Out in the open. A stag coming in fast in thick bush you only have a short amount of time to id your target, quick look if its got points and tops.
    Same with when stalking a animal standing on a creek bed or clearing doesn't give you that time, a quick id and yep i take it it looks ok and access on the ground.
    When i shoot my personal best stag 3 years ago the first night i seen it i knew it was a trophy, just took me a few more nights to shoot him
    Last edited by bigbear; 23-03-2021 at 05:18 PM.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by tiroahunta View Post
    Never seen a spiker/young stag with low coronets....just saying...


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    Based on deer farming and velvet and hard antler buying my thoughts are this:
    A normal wild spiker doesnt have much for coronets but in a spiker beam diameter is the best indicator of potential. Plenty of what people call old stags ( 8-10 ) have high coronets, genetics plays a big part. A true 'Old Stag' of 13 or 14 years will have low coronets relative to what they were when younger. Some rubbish young stags with light beams do have low coronets compared to a good stag from the same area. I would place the stag in the photo as a poor four year old
    'Bother' said Pooh, as he chambered another round ... Wong Far King Way

  12. #12
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    well one thing is for sure and for certain...that stag HAS BEEN JUDGED....and is now a moot point...you saw it,made call and fired...GOOD ON YOU.....enjoy the venison.....
    it would have to be something looking really special but not quite special enough to make me not want to escort stag to my freezer......say a big 8 or ten with good length and shape in velvet......otherwise would get one way trip to frypan heater.

  13. #13
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    Thanks everyone, great insights. Its awesome to have access to all the experience you all have.
    I actually managed to recover the whole animal, had about 40 meters to drag him through the scrub to a cutting where I could come back to with the quad. I halved him through the second rib then used my belt as a drag rope to haul the halves up hill. Hes now ageing in my killing shed for butchering tomorrow. Going to get a pile of sausages made to share around mine and my wifes staff team.

 

 

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