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Stags Casting Antlers
– About

Deer are fascinating animals, in particular the stags. When watching the red stags at Poronui and studying their physiology over the period of a year, it dawns on you the amazing changes their bodies and attitude endure.

Our Stags have now recovered from the rut of five months ago and as the spring grasses start emerging they ‘cast’ or drop their antlers and start the process of growing the big antlers often called ‘the head’ or in safari terms ‘trophy’ all over again. The red stag trophy is one of the most intriguing antler on any animal by way of the length of time it takes to grow and its structure.

From when they cast until they finish growing the antler is about five months. Initially the antler grows as a very sensitive soft tissue with the outer skin called ‘velvet’. As it advances from the scull it branches into a formation of points growing from the main beam and finishes with a crown of points on the top. It is the measurement of these points that brings the value of a trophy based on the SCI scoring system.

It is an obsession of hunters to look for the biggest and the best.

Poronui has one of New Zealand’s most advanced genetic herds of deer. Through our careful management and feeding we have stags growing antler in the top level of scoring and weight to be found anywhere in the world.

Seeing them in their natural environment in our safari park is a hunting sensation.

John Scurr

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