The Red deer is the largest land animal in the UK. The species was extinct across much of England, Wales and lowland Scotland by the late 1700s owing to deforestation and human disturbance.
Red deer population subsequently increased in Scotland because of the stalking interest. It can cause considerable damage to forestry and, to a lesser extent, agricultural crops.
The rut is from mid-September to mid-October. Peak times of activity are at dawn and dusk. In the Highlands of Scotland, Red deer use the open hills during the day and descend to lower ground during the night.
The Red deer’s traditional stronghold is in Scotland, particularly the Highlands, the South-West and the major islands. The estimated Red deer population in Scotland is between 350,000 and 400,000.
Facts about Red Deer
|Adult size||Up to 190 kg , 107cm-122cm at shoulder|
|Coloration||Reddish brown in summer, in winter brown to grey|
|Antlers||Branched – up to 16 points|
|Social groups||Mainly solitary, same sex groups occurs in Highlands|
|Offspring||One calf born mid-May / mid-July|
|Habitat||Woodland and forest, open moor and hill|
|Feeding||Grazers and dwarf shrubs e.g. Heather and Bilberry|