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Know Before You Go

Red Deer Facts | Scotland Wildlife Guide

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

Impressive in size and stature, red deer are the fourth-largest deer species, following moose, elk and sambar. In Scotland, male stags can weigh up to 500 pounds and span 6.5 feet from nose to tail. Their antlers, which grow in the spring and shed at winter's end, can measure more than 3 feet in length, with fourth and fifth tines often forming a "crown." Red deers' coats are reddish-brown and their rumps are cream-colored. European folklore is filled with tales of powerful white stags—these enchanting creatures are actually white-colored red deer with leucism, a condition that causes their coat to lose its natural pigment.

HABITAT

Red deer are found in coniferous woodlands, heathlands and open moorlands in Scotland.

FEEDING HABITS

These ruminants have a four-chambered stomach. They browse on grasses, sedges, rushes and young trees. During the winter, they move from higher altitudes to sheltered lower ground and rely on dwarf shrubs such as blueberry and heather.

BREEDING

Each autumn, stags lock antlers to compete for females and bellow to proclaim their territory. The mating season, known as "the rut," lasts from September to November. Females give birth to calves from mid-May to June. The calves are weaned at 8 months, by which time they have molted out of their spotted natal coat.
Encounter Wild Deer on These European Trips
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Scotland's Wild Highlands & Islands
New Active Walking Options!

Scotland's Wild Highlands & Islands

Explore rugged coast and mountains from the Outer Hebrides to Highland heights as we discover a land of lochs, whales, seabirds, wildflowers, granite islands and prehistoric cultures.
9 Days / May–Oct
From $9995
Limited to 12 Travelers
New Active Walking Options!
Aurora Quest: To the European Arctic by Luxury Train
New Trip!

Aurora Quest: To the European Arctic by Luxury Train

A truly peerless adventure! Embark on a winter odyssey across northwest Russia to the Scandinavian Arctic, with snowshoeing, dog sledding and northern lights watching in Norway and Finnish Lapland.
10 Days / Jan–Feb
From $19595
Limited to 30 Travelers
New Trip!
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