Red deer Cervus elaphus L. quality in the Piska Primeval Forest
The aim of the research was to describe the roe deer population living in the hunting grounds of the Piska Primeval Forest. The research focused on the changes in red deer body weight during the last decade, as well as on the effect of some climatic factors on the quality of this characteristic.
The research material included 671 stags, 1133 hinds and 400 calves culled during the hunting seasons in the period between 1995/1996 and 2004/2005. The evaluation covered the body weight and antler shape of stags and the body weight of hinds and calves. In addition, the body measurements were made to describe the most frequently culled stag, hind and calf.
The average body weight of red deer stags was 120 kg, of hinds – 71.1 kg and of calves – 39.5 kg. The average antler weight of stags was ca 4 kg. 12-point and 10-point stags constituted 28 and 23% of the whole population. The relationship found between biometric characteristics and body weight in red deer was statistically significant. The relationship between the body weight and length and the height at the withers and rump deserves special attention.
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