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Sambar Deer

Cervus unicolor unicolor

Nomenclature
Male: Stag
Female: Hind
Young: Fawn or Calf

In New Zealand, sambar deer are considered an iconic herd. They are only in the North Island and mostly found on private land.

Size

Sambar are big animals. Stags average 1.4m shoulder height and 245kg in weight, with hinds smaller at 1.1m and up to 157kg.

Colour

Uniform, darkening to almost black in older animals, with tan to rusty red on the rump. Underparts are grey to mid-brown.

Antlers

Only stags grow antlers which are relatively short, heavily pearled and normally with three tines (brow, trez, and terminal). Antlers are grown from January to March, hardening between June and November and cast in November/December.

Rifle and calibre

Suitable calibres include .270, 7mm-08, 30’06, .308 and .303. A calibre and cartridge with high striking energy is recommended as sambar deer have been known to absorb several shots and still escape.

Record Trophy

284 4/8 Douglas Score taken by R.G. Hill at Manawatu circa 1924.

Record Book Qualification

200 Douglas Score