Red Deer

Cervus elaphus

Red deer are Scotland’s largest surviving native wild land mammal.

They have a body size a little smaller than a domestic donkey. Males are called stags and have antlers up to a metre long. These branch-like horns drop off in the spring and are grown again in the summer ready for the autumn rut, or breeding season. Stags live in small wandering groups, except during the rut when they become solitary and fight other stags for the control of a hind herd.

Females are called hinds and they live in herds led by matriachs. Each hind herd spends their whole lives in one area and know it very well. The hinds give birth to single calves which have white spots, during May and June.

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Discover more about the Red Deer

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When to see

Red deer are still found by the thousands in upland forests and moorlands throughout Scotland.

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Where to see

Resident all the year round and found throughout Scotland, this is a bird of the woodland and moorland edge, but can be seen on farmland bordering woodland. Males are much more visible than females at a distance. The Cairngorms National Park is a particularly good area to see black grouse.

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Did you know?

Most of the land on which red deer are found is privately owned and the deer are managed to provide an income from stalking and shooting stags as trophies. The hinds are hunted during the winter by estate keepers and the venison is sold for human consumption. Because there are no large predators now living in Scotland it is essential to shoot red deer to control their numbers.

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Related species

Roe Deer

Binoculars Icon Blue
When to see

Red deer are still found by the thousands in upland forests and moorlands throughout Scotland.

Map Icon Blue
Where to see

Resident all the year round and found throughout Scotland, this is a bird of the woodland and moorland edge, but can be seen on farmland bordering woodland. Males are much more visible than females at a distance. The Cairngorms National Park is a particularly good area to see black grouse.

Book Icon Blue
Did you know?

Most of the land on which red deer are found is privately owned and the deer are managed to provide an income from stalking and shooting stags as trophies. The hinds are hunted during the winter by estate keepers and the venison is sold for human consumption. Because there are no large predators now living in Scotland it is essential to shoot red deer to control their numbers.

Dolphin Icon Blue
Related species

Roe Deer

Binoculars Icon Blue
When to see

Red deer are still found by the thousands in upland forests and moorlands throughout Scotland.

Map Icon Blue
Where to see

Resident all the year round and found throughout Scotland, this is a bird of the woodland and moorland edge, but can be seen on farmland bordering woodland. Males are much more visible than females at a distance. The Cairngorms National Park is a particularly good area to see black grouse.

Book Icon Blue
Did you know?

Most of the land on which red deer are found is privately owned and the deer are managed to provide an income from stalking and shooting stags as trophies. The hinds are hunted during the winter by estate keepers and the venison is sold for human consumption. Because there are no large predators now living in Scotland it is essential to shoot red deer to control their numbers.

Dolphin Icon Blue
Related species

Roe Deer

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