Deer & Stag Spotting

Deer & Stag Spotting

There are three deer species in South Loch Ness.

Two are native i.e. Red and Roe Deer with Sika deer being introduced early 19th century in several areas.

Red deer can be seen on high ground and occasional sightings on lower woodland edges. One of the best places to find red deer is between the Suidhe and Loch Tarff, just south of Whitebridge, mostly during winter months, when the stags can be seen in large number very close to the road. This species is the largest of the three with Sika in between and Roe the smallest.

Sika mostly feed during darkness but in some areas can be spotted during daylight hours .

Roe can be seen anytime in fields and in woodland.

Red deer at rutting time are spectacular to hear with the stags roaring and often fighting fiercely.

Sika stags make a loud triple whistle at rut and the alarm call is quite distinct being a loud whistle .

Roe bark when alarmed and Bucks are vocal late Spring when taking up territories.

All species are culled annually with local Estates keeping numbers under control and having guests stalking for trophies and making revenue with venison sales.

A good pair of binnoculars is advised when watching as it is often low light when the deer can be seen and some kind of camo clothing is an advantage if you are trying to get up close. If trying to photograph a telephoto lens is a bonus as it is not always easy to get real close.

All three species are a delight to watch with all having different behaviour patterns.

Ian Davidson, local game keeper for more than 40 years.

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