The "stags" bugle. The two-week deer firearm season runs through Dec. 14. Caroline County has a growing resident population, and there have been a few reported sightings of stags in Queen Anne’s County. Sika Deer – Cervus nippon. The Sika Deer can be either small or medium in size, depending on the area where it happens to live. From where I sat, I could see the depression in the spartina grass where the stag lay dead, and I took a few moments to pull together what faculties I had left for my climb down the tree. But the challenge of hunting an exotic deer species in a coastal swamp was alluring. Sika deer are primarily nocturnal and inhabit marshy terrain, and thus hunting can be very challenging and sometimes difficult. In 1916 Clement Henry released six sika deer (believed to have come from Europe) on the Choptank River’s James Island. This miniature elk cousin is abundant on the Eastern Shore. The marsh was gorgeous in its autumnal colors- a broad wash of golds, browns, and reds spread almost all the way to the horizon, and I let my eyes rest, unfocused, over the western horizon as the light began to slip. He’d seen the shot, no doubt, but probably didn’t see where the stag fell and was anxious to start tracking. The deer are in hard rut and the season is a magical time. Deer Season Begins (Mid September–Mid October) Deer are in Hard Rut…. Sika Hunting FHF Bino Harness Vortex Razor 10×42 Binoculars Stone Glacier Avail 2200 Nordik Sika Call. The call is made out of a black cycolac plastic for years of trouble free use. I used the cover to my advantage and ranged the bushes I saw it moving through. Most of the Maryland population is found in Dorchester, Wicomico, Somerset and Worcester Counties. During rifle season, this small, narrow island is overrun with hunters. #StrangeTails #December2018 #SikaDeer #Wildlife, Story by Reen Waterman // Photo submitted by, Sika Deer: The interesting origins of one of Maryland’s most elusive mammals. Sika deer hunting in Maryland, especially Dorchester County, has increased greatly over the last decade or so. A male Sika is a stag and the female is a hind. You will notice that they all have small legs and a very small head. Sika deer are a member of the Cervus family which includes European and Asian red deer as well as the American elk. Sika stags typically weigh 90 pounds while females, aka hinds, weigh around 70 pounds. I've called and taken several sika, male and female using the call. Like their larger cousin the elk, sika make “mud wallows.” They lie in these mud pools to protect themselves from the bug population, causing them to favor the heavily marshy areas along river corridors. I don't know anything about what TX calls a "sika deer". The Single Call (roar or bugle): My favourite sound while hunting. The call will produce the bugle of the Sika deer during the rut season. Sika travel in herds more than whitetail deer do, and young sika are called “calves.” A sika bugle is a high-pitch shrieking heard during the “rut,” or mating season. A Sika stag will use this call when a hind is in close proximity, as the name suggest it is a lone call, but can be repeated frequently by a Sika stag. I could hear the air escaping his lungs and his last heavy, chesty breaths as his life left him, and I struggled to make my hands work, my head work, to get my shit together for a follow up shot if I needed it. Sika Deer Range Wildlife and heritage service biologists initiated a tagging study in 1988 to obtain important information on harvest rates, longevity, and movements of sika deer. Brian Eyler, deer project section leader for the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, said, “Sika deer, while an exotic species, are not an invasive species. They stay in the deepest recesses of hard-to-reach marshland. Those seeking them should remember to take bug spray. My stag was soaked and dirty, partially dressed out and missing a lower jaw (removed for research purposes) but there he was- my first, and a dandy. Here’s some of the gear we used on this uniquely Maryland adventure. During this time, males become very vocal by "bugling." A big stag can dress about 100 lbs. We counted pintails and black ducks in the impoundments, and, memorably, narrowly avoided bringing an endangered Delmarva fox squirrel to his untimely demise beneath our tires. They are 2 ½ feet high at the shoulder. We spent years solving the … We simply manage an exotic species as if it were native.”. Sika tend to outlive whitetails, mainly due to their withdrawn and more nocturnal marshland lifestyle. “They prefer different food sources. The marsh is pocked with ponds and pools, sandbars and hummocks. The call will produce the bugle of the Sika deer during the rut season. Sub species are found all over the world; here in the U.S. wild, free roaming sikas are found in Maryland, Virginia and Texas. We didn’t so much sneak through the woods as we crashed, our heavy insulated waders restricting our movement while we struggled through the brambles. Dusk had almost finished settling in before I saw it. Sika Deer - Maryland. When the sika were first released, we had a very limited whitetail population. His beautiful, wet coat picked up sand and detritus as we pulled him, sweating and heaving, with the climbers strapped to our backs. The sika bugle is a long, thin, wavering, and eerie shriek- it’s completely otherworldly. Around the same time, Dr. Charles Law released sika deer on Assateague Island. Sika hinds typically bear a single calf, whereas a whitetail doe may have twins or triplets. Charcuterie, Furred Wade Truong November 15, 2020 charcuterie, cured sausage, sika 2 Comments . Four tall antler points rose, flame-like, from his small, rounded skull. When the ranger opened the gate and we started driving in, we quickly realized we were already almost out of time. In the back of the truck we had waders, climbing stands, and rifles. It is especially developed to imitate the call of the Sika stag, as it whistles out its mating call! His hooves were dainty and almost fawn-like, unsuited for the wet marsh ground, but he seemed to get around just fine. The varied landscape was jaw-droppingly gorgeous even in the dim, yellowed glow of the headlights. We made another couple of pilgrimages out to the island over the years. A true spectacle to witness, and now you can recreate it! And, being of vastly different sizes, interbreeding is highly unlikely. This deer call was designed especially for Sika Deer. It was the bugle of a sika deer, a Japanese relative of the European red deer and American elk. The late afternoon whiled itself away without any interference from us. Sika deer originate mostly from Japan, Taiwan, and East Asia and were introduced to Maryland in the early 1900’s when Clement Henry released 5 or 6 deer on James Island. Turning back the way we came, we re-crossed the hummocks and marsh that we had only barely made out in the headlights earlier that day. “As the whitetail population rebounded in the 1960s and 1970s, they [inhabited] areas and food sources that best fit them ... so there never has been a competition between species. The "hinds" have a call very much like an elk cow call. Also works for Roe Deer, Red deer, Sambar Deer, Chital or Axis Deer The Sika Reel is a everything we think a Sika call should be. Finding sign of them on Assateague is close to impossible, because the herds of wild ponies use the same trails with such frequency and in such great numbers that you’ll seldom see many tracks. Proportionally to white-tailed deer, sika deer have shorter snouts and smaller ears. I don't know anything about what TX calls a "sika deer". The hybrid of the sika doe and the American elk is called a "silk" deer. During the rut, stags keep a harem of estrous hinds in close proximity, and fiercely protect them against all rivals. Some of the sounds of the sika buck, though, suit their much smaller size and sound less like a roar and more like a squealing hinge that whines downward in pitch. Initially confined to parks, individuals managed to escape over the years so that there are now established populations within the British countryside. It’s a primal sound, similar to the bugling of an elk, but more ethereal. It had been getting dark when I took the shot, but now, a few minutes after legal light, we were losing visibility quickly. Sika Seducer Sika deer are extremely vocal animals just like their cousins out west, the American elk. We didn’t figure them out that trip. They are too far apart on the family tree to crossbreed.”. Sika Deer Soppressata. • Whether your interest is photography, observing wildlife or hunting, sika can be tricky to find. In addition to not being tied to limited food sources, sika are more resistant to diseases such as chronic wasting disease. What they lack in size they make up for in elusiveness and aggressive behavior during the rut. The way the hunt was laid out to us was a little intimidating- waders, boats, phragmites marsh and mosquitos. In Pursuit of Sika Deer Posted on: January 14, 2020 FHMD . On our first-ever sika hunt, three seasons ago, we left in pitch darkness to queue up at the gate to the refuge. Because of their hardy nature and ability to eat a broad range of plants, leaves and crops, sika deer have been introduced around the world, in places such as Vietnam, Russia, Europe and the United States (Maryland, Virginia, and Texas). Sika deer in Assateague Island National Seashore. ive killed numerous does or cows and a four and six point stag. Not only do they look like elk, they also have bugling teeth and they do bugle much like an elk does during rut. At the ranger station, we chatted with the park officer about our hunt and the season so far, comparing tactics and exchanging what information we had. We saw them at night and before dawn from the road, ducking into the sort of hellhole thickets you’d have to be crazy to try to push through, but we just weren’t seeing them moving during legal light. The wild ponies use the road as frequently as the hunters do, and we were stopped every few minutes by group after group of them. It picked its way slowly, carefully, along the thicket, stopping every few yards. The stags will roar as with other herding deer, but then whistles are the most common sound to be heard! By the time I’d reached the ground, Wade had already dragged the stag from the marsh to dry ground, and I took a brief moment to admire him before we set to dragging the deer and the gear all the way down the path to the truck. Sika deer have a white rump patch that flares outward when alarmed. Initially confined to parks, individuals managed to escape over the years so that there are now established populations within the British countryside. I finally managed to get settled in, just as the grey line of the horizon shifted a rosy pink. There were no sika for me that morning. A herd of fat, shaggy ponies wove their way toward me from a distant hummock and one by one, stopped to investigate the pack I’d left at the base of a tree. Nordik Sika Call. This took the pressure off of me for opening day of our firearms season so I opted to take a bit of a journey to see if I could connect with a sika deer or another nice whitetail. The Sika Deer can be either small or medium in size, depending on the area where it happens to live. It was the bugle of a sika deer, a Japanese relative of the European red deer and American elk. They like the swampy woods and marsh. Sika stags typically weigh 90 pounds while females, aka hinds, weigh around 70 pounds. But since that first encounter, I have loved the little sika deer especially when I hear the males bugle just like the elk of the west but it seems that over the years the numbers have dropped tremendously as I simply don’t see them like I used to. Males have narrow antlers and a dark, shaggy mane on the neck. But hunting them is extremely difficult. The stags bugle just like an elk, and they are not conflict averse- they are reportedly much more violent in their sparring than many other species. The plastic reed design gives this well proven call a great sound. The Nordik Sika Call was developed specially to imitate the call of a sika stag in rut. Sika deer are very vocal animals and are well known for their unique sounds that range from a bugle which is very high pitched whistle to subtle whines, mews and chirps. Sika males, called “stags,” can average 75 pounds field-dressed, while hinds tend to average 50 pounds. Re: Sika Deer i have hunted sikas for years down near cambridge. Males usually weigh about 90 pounds, while females usually weigh about 70 pounds. Sika Deer Call – Sika Reel $ 39.99; Buck Reel $ 39.99; Elk Reel Cow Elk call- The Zzzzz- Ziricote wood $ 64.99; Sale! Sika antlers can reach lengths up to 15 inches. The sandy dirt road runs almost due north along the highest part of this flat, coastal island, first through a forest of beetle-killed longleaf pines, then living pine forest, then open marsh, hummocks, impoundments and saltwater ponds. Crabbing Xtratuf Boots Polar Kraft Jon Boat Yamaha 75 HP Motor For calling sika stags during the rut, start by expanding the lower part of the call, place the mouthpiece to your lips and start to blow softly into the call, growl, and then soft again. On such a small island, you really can’t head in on the same trail as another hunter without winding up being set up right on top of them, so we’d been cautious about keeping our distance. i would take the rifle you can shoot the best. We hunted in the woods, the marsh edges, and in openings in the myrtles, but with no success, or even sightings. Sika females, called “hinds,” have white spots, which they keep as adults, and are more prominent in the summer. Even now, writing this, the memory of the bugling raises the hair on the back of my neck. They are almost entirely nocturnal, and seem to spend most of their time in marsh so dense and high that you will never see them. A big stag can dress about 100 lbs. Cow Elk Call-K Series Elk Reel-Koa wood $ 49.99 $ 39.99; Reel Elk Call parts kit $ 7.49; Diaphragm elk call-Reel 3d mouth reed-Bull scream $ 14.99; Sale! In daylight, the drive back to town took twice as long as it did in the dark. The sun rose over the salt marsh before me and I almost forgot about the sika deer entirely while I watched geese trade back and forth over the water. The temperate species - the Red Deer, Elk, Fallow and Sika - go into a rut, or their mating season, in autumn. They’re a wholly different animal from the whitetail we’re used to around here- technically more closely related to elk, sika deer are diminutive in size and do well in wet, marshy environments like the one around Assateague. The Extinguisher's patented ModiSlide™ allows you to sound like a Buck, a Doe or a Fawn in an instant. Sika prove to be the UKs mysterious deer. We thought we’d take our time getting set up and find a good tree to climb and wait out the dawn. Behind me, I could hear Wade scraping his climber down his tree. The "stags" bugle. They are considerably smaller than whitetail and have dark brown or black coats in winter and a reddish orange coat in summer. In Pursuit of Sika Deer Posted on: January 14, 2020 FHMD . We heard the occasional bugle, but other than that, we had no sign of them. The Sika XT II deer caller, designed for sika calling year round not just the Rut (Roar). Sika are most often seen at dawn and dusk and are not as easy to pattern as whitetails. • In 2017, 3,150 Sika were harvested, including 1,423 stags and 1,727 hinds. They are also offered on game farms as well. The harvest total includes 4,248 antlered and 4,953 antlerless deer, including 147 antlered and 126 antlerless sika deer. Sika Deer 2: single call; he-haw call; stag mew; yak yak call; hind/fawn call All new recordings for 2013 with the exception of the he-haw call which has been modified. 15 yards. Even the drowse of the mosquitos left me feeling placid and warm- even if we didn’t see a sika this trip, it was worth it to come out just to experience the splendor of this place, one of the last of its kind. The Sika deer are wary, but the blue crabs are abundant. You have just experienced a sighting of the “marsh ghost.” Sika deer (cervus nippon), actually a small member of the Elk family, originates from Yakushima Island in southern Japan. Our friend Cam shot a spike on one of those trips, but we still hadn’t seen or heard much from the sika on the island. Whitetail Season (October 1st –February 28th) It’s our Specialty, Bucks are Big, Hunt 130-150+. This deer call was designed especially for Sika Deer. Sika deer were introduced to the UK from Asia during the mid 19th century. Sika Deer Call – Sika Reel $ 39.99; Buck Reel $ 39.99; Elk Reel Cow Elk call- The Zzzzz- Ziricote wood $ 64.99; Sale! the most important piece of gear you can have hunting the little black devils is a great pair of binos. “While whitetails and sika [habitate] similar territory, whitetails tend to stick more to agricultural croplands while sika stick to marsh and wet woodlands,” Eyler said.