Cervus elaphus scoticus
Ciervo Escoces (Sp), Scottischer Rothirsch (G), Cerf d'Ecossais (F).
DESCRIPTION One of the smallest red deer. A good stag will weigh 200-220 pounds (90-100 kg), with antlers that weigh 9 pounds (4 kg) including the frontal bone.
DISTRIBUTION All native red deer in the British Isles are classified as Scottish red deer by biologists. Unfortunately, however, racial purity in some areas has been compromised by introductions of game park animals that carry genes of larger continental subspecies, or even wapiti. Therefore we have chosen to restrict the Scottish red deer records to animals taken in the Highlands of Scotland, north of a line drawn between Glasgow and Edinburgh (please see Remarks). All other red deer in the British Isles are treated as European red deer.
HABITAT The almost treeless heather moors (referred to as "deer forests") of the Scottish Highlands. Sometimes also in actual forested areas.
REMARKS A true highland deer hunt can be a memorable experience that is steeped in tradition. One is guided by a stalker who spots game with a pull-out telescope (spy glass). Until recently, a pony would go along to carry back any deer, but these days, sadly, the pony is usually replaced by an all-terrain vehicle. Rain gear is a must and should be of the highest quality. One should be fit, for there is considerable walking, and the stalks often consist of long, muddy crawls across the treeless moors to point-blank range (stalkers have a poor opinion of clients' marksmanship). The desired trophy is a "royal," which has matching brow, bez and trez tines and three points in the crown. Heads this good are a challenge to find in Scotland. The relatively poor antler development of free-ranging native Scottish stags is due to poor nutrition.We have tried to limit the Scottish red deer records to free-ranging animals that have been native to the Highlands for several generations. The present situation, where transplants from English parks and the continent are crossed with native deer, kept in enclosures and fed special diets, makes it difficult at times to identify true Highlands deer. To the best of our knowledge, however, the animals listed below will qualify.