In the mid-19th century, Lord Powerscourt introduced just one male sika and three hinds to Irish soil from East Asia. The originally Japanese stag (sika means ‘deer’ in Japanese) had found its second home. Nowhere in Europe are more of these fascinating deer than in Ireland.
In terms of size, a sika falls between roe deer and red deer, just slightly smaller than a fallow deer. Like fallow deer, it also has white spots but only during the summer. In autumn, the coat changes to a black colour and the sika stags get full rut manes like red stags.
Speaking of the rut, this is more like whistling than roaring. But it is an intense spectacle that every big game hunter has to see with their own eyes at least once.
The hunting method is very similar to stalking in Scotland. Athletic hunters who like a challenge will certainly find something to their liking here. But the hunting area is so varied that even hunters with normal fitness will be able to get a shot.
Instead of climbing the hills, it is also possible to hunt in the valleys. The biotope is characterised by open plains with both small and large forests. A green paradise complemented by moss and tree ferns. This abundance of food and cover is exactly what sikas need.
The hunt for sika stags runs from 1 September to 31 December. The absolute highlight of the hunt is the rut, which starts in the third week of September and lasts until mid-October. That is when the ‘black devils’ – as the Irish call them – cross swords with each other. By the way, these swords are almost always eight-pointers.
Antlers can vary in mass and size, but as a rule the antlers of an adult stag do not have more than eight points. Those who think the battles of red deer are fierce will be open-mouthed when they see those of sika deer. This is even more intense.
You have a choice of various accommodations. B&Bs and hotels are all in the area, but if you ask us, we recommend you stay in the guesthouse. Firstly for the friendly atmosphere, but mainly because this is where they are most familiar with hunters. And with their different schedules.
For instance, a hearty breakfast will be ready for you after the morning outing so you can regain your strength. In the late afternoon, your guide will pick you up again for the evening stalk. Again, you can rest assured that a good, hot meal will be provided on your return.
All the stalkers are experienced experts who know the territory like no other. They have been familiar with this challenging and delicious game since childhood. Let there be no doubt, on this trip you will see many animals. Opportunities will present themselves.
- 1 Sika stag
- 3 Hunting days
- Six Outings
- 4 Nights
- Half board
- Single room
- 1:1 Hunting guide
- Additional sika or wild goat
- Booking fee
- Tips, personal expenses