What happens when a red stag and a bull elk face off?
One of the things we love about the Internet is the way that it exposes us to wildlife encounters that otherwise would have gone unseen and unknown to others. Consider the red deer and the elk. These two animals have ranges that seldom overlap. Even when they do, encounters between the two animals are probably rare.
That is, unless you are hunting in New Zealand. This short, but interesting video shows what happens when a bull elk and a red stag have a standoff.
If nothing else, you'll come away with a far better appreciation for the size difference between these two magnificent animals.
Obviously, this was not a serious fight between these two creatures. If you are thinking there is no reason for them to fight, you'd be wrong. Because red deer/elk hybrids do occur in some areas, especially New Zealand. However, in this video, it almost appears to be a playful sparring match like the ones many members of the deer family engage in before the serious rivalry starts during the rut.
Keep in mind that red deer are no slouches in size. They're way bigger than your average whitetail or mule deer. A healthy stag like you saw here can weigh between 350 and 500 pounds given the right nutrients and habitat. That's a large animal and not one that most other creatures of the forest would mess with.
However, the stag is simply dwarfed in size by this elk. Depending on the subspecies of elk, a bull can weigh between 700 and 900 pounds. In that case, no red deer is going to win the fight, no matter how large he happens to be.
If you ever wondered the major differences between an elk and a red deer, this video is a good visual example. This was a fascinating encounter between two similar yet distinctly different species.
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