Sika Deer are smaller than, but very closely related to red deer. The Sika is native to Asia, but introduced populations can be hunted in a number of locations Globally. The main populations in Europe that are viable for hunting reside in the UK and Czech Republic. Sika deer were introduced to Czech republic in the late 19th early 20th Century. the spread has been significant and it is estimated there are 6000 individuals in the Czech Republic, and that population is rising. As a non native species it is interbreeding with Red deer, and similarily to the UK control is required. The origins of Sika in Cz Republic are still somewhat unknown and the limited genetic studies that have been conducted confirmed that the founder individuals of the Czech population originated from both native island (Japanese Islands) and native mainland (Far East Russia) populations
Mature Sika separate into single sex herds for the majority of the year, with juvenile stags joining the male herds in their first year. After the rut and in winter female herds will form. Both sexes are elusive and tend to keep themselves in cover during the day only appearing and last light. They both browse and graze but tend to prefer coniferous woodland to open fields. During the rut the stag herds split up with the larger males forming rutting territories astride routes commonly used by females as they go to feed in the mornings. The territories are marked by slots wallows and frayed branches. Once his territory is set up the stag will patrol it at dusk renewing his marks.
The stag will whistle during the rut and as a hind enters his territory he will round them up and hold them in a harem, chasing off any other stags as they impede on his territory. He generally prefers to mate in his own territory but is also know to follow hinds to their feeding grounds to mate. In areas of very high population the stags are not so determined to set up their territory. Sika Stags can be very vocal with not only whistling being heard but all sorts of grunts and snorts being heard. The stags pedicles will emerge at 6-7 months. He does not normally form his first 8 point head until the age of 4, their antlers are not as tough as Red Deer and it is a common sight to see mature stags with broken or deformed antlers as they are coming toward the end of their antler cycle
In Czech Republic there are numerous locations where driven sika can be arranged, this is normally alongside Wild Boar.
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