View Full Version : Elk/ Red Deer cross.

phil mcwilliam
April 22, 2009, 05:02 AM
Elk / Red Deer cross taken by my mate last week in South Australia

April 22, 2009, 07:49 AM
Nice animal. Congratulations. I wasnt aware that red deer and elk would interbreed. Learn something new all the time.

April 22, 2009, 09:17 AM
Until recently they were considered the same species. As I recall it was genetic studies that made the biologists declare them separate species.

That's a nice deer. The stag influence on the antlers is obvious but what tips you off to the elk lineage?

April 22, 2009, 11:09 AM

that is pretty cool, I've never seen a cross before.

phil mcwilliam
April 23, 2009, 06:55 AM
This stag was shot on Watervalley station in South Australia. Tom the owner of Watervalley has amassed 52 adjoining cattle properties over the years totalling over 400,000 acres. Along with his cattle empire Tom has a genuine interest in deer & keeps a herd of red & elk in a deer enclosure of 3,000 acres that he harvests velvet from. The rest of his 400,000 acres have a deer fence around the perimeter but species including elk, red deer , fallow deer, rusa deer , chittal deer & sambar deer run wild easily jumping the internal cattle fences.
The deer are unmanaged excepting a commercial meat harvester that only shoots female deer for the marketplace , & trophy deer hunts.
Paying for a hunt runs a bit against my grain as I have plenty of places that I have free access to & have good success with pigs ,goats, foxes & deer.
Since my mate had already booked the hunt for easter & I had the following week off, it didnt take to much persuading to sign me up, as this time is also the rut in Australia for reds, fallow & elk.
Not knowing what to expect I was amazed to see many thousands of deer on this property. Shooting a deer on this property would be easy, but finding a trophy of 14 points or more would prove challenging.
Trophy hunting involved driving around accessing various stags with spotting scopes and then determining if they were worthy to shoot. Even after stalking, at least half a dozen stags were given up within shooting range because of broken or misformed tines.
Since it was the rut it was special hearing Reds roar, Elk whistle & Fallow croaking in the same valley at dawn. I also witnessed stags fighting on several occassions.
After 5 days of spotting & stalking you become good at judging heads at distance & there are distinct differences between elk & red deer that become obvious when they run together. The elk is a bigger animal with a longer tail, longer head & different antlers with the reds tending to have smaller heads but with more tines. When they cross breed they produce some impressive racks.
My mate fired 3 shots in 5 days hunting. The first 2 were sighting in at the range outside the cabin.

April 23, 2009, 08:36 AM

do you have a link for a website to that operation?

it's a lot easier to pull off a hunting trip if I disguise it to the wife as a trip to australia.

April 23, 2009, 07:56 PM
So one shot dead right there? Have any details on the shot? Weapon/range/etc.? Great story though, sounds like a heck of a hunting opportunity.

Edit: Googling "Watervalley Game Ranch" will show you a few websites. Very positive write-ups. Looks like the "official" site is: http://www.huntaust.com.au/watervalley.html - has e-mail contact info.

phil mcwilliam
April 24, 2009, 12:12 AM
The animal was shot with a sauer 30-06 firing 150 grain bullets at about 150 yards. I went with magnumhunts.com.au & you can check the website for photos of heads from this property, but I do not recommend this outfit & would suggest huntaust.com.au that bclark has suggested as an alternative.