Bull, buck, heart, stag, and spiker are all names for male deer. Even though there are more than 100 different kinds of deer in the world, the whitetail deer is the most common in the United States. Each species is different in its own way.
How do we know what to call a male deer when there are so many different kinds and names? In this article, we talk about the five names of male deer and how they are used. We will also talk about how to tell a male deer from a female, how to guess his age, the different kinds of deer, and how all of this relates to the words we use to call them.
Different Male Deer Names: Explained
There is a way to talk about deer in the Germanic language. The word “deer” comes from Middle English, but it has become a more specific name for species in the families Cervinae and Capreolineae over time. Several types of deer get their names from how they look and how their bodies are built. Here are the top five names given to male deer:
Let’s look at how each of these names came to be and how we now talk about deer.
This phrase comes from the Germanic language and originally meant “male animal in its prime.” It might be because a mature male deer is ready to protect himself, fight, and find a mate. Most of the time, hunters use this phrase to talk about male deer. This phrase has become more specific over time, and it is now mostly used to talk about deer. Today, it is only used to talk about full-grown male deer with antlers. Not included in this are the young male deer.
Most of the time, “buck” is used to describe a male deer. There are both adult and young male deer. Even though no one knows for sure when the world was made, the name “buck” comes from ancient German. But it has changed the way people talk now. For example, the term “a buck” for a dollar comes from the time of the American Revolution, when a deer’s skin cost one dollar. “Bucks” is also used for many other animals, such as the kangaroo, ferret, and rat.
This phrase, which isn’t used very often these days, is usually used to talk about a male Red Deer. In the past, it only meant a male deer that had reached its fifth year of life. The word comes from a few different old English dialects. A female deer is called a “hind,” which is a proper noun.
The males of bovine animals are called “bulls.” Because of this, a bull is often linked to cattle. Even though the word “bull” shouldn’t really be used to describe a male deer, it is often used that way. This is possible since a bull is a male antelope and antelopes are in the same family as cows. Because of how much they look like deer, many species of antelope are often mistaken for deer. The word “bull” comes from the same German root that means “to bellow.” This may have something to do with deer since male deer are often said to scream loudly.
Spiker is not a word that people use or even try to describe very often. It is slang that is mostly used in New Zealand and is unique to that country. “Spiker” is the name for an adult male deer that is about a year old. Usually, it refers to male deer who are neither very young nor very old, like teenagers. Spiker is just a name for them because their young antlers have a single point that makes them look like spikes. In this case, the phrase doesn’t have a long history. Instead, it’s just a way for hunters to talk about young male deer.
Buck vs. Stag
As you can see, there are a lot of different ways to talk about male deer, so it can get confusing! Most of the time, the terms stag and buck are used. What’s the difference between these two words, and when should you use each one? Any of these words can be used to talk about an adult male deer. There is no right or wrong way to use these expressions. Depending on where you live and who you hang out with, they are often used interchangeably. The only important difference is that “stag” is only used to talk about deer.
The males of several other species are also called “bucks,” just like male deer. Around the world, the stag is the most popular, while bucks may be the most popular in the United States.
How to Tell If a Deer Is a Male?
The antlers of male deer can be used to tell them apart from females. Only deer species have antlers, which are a physical trait. Antlers, unlike horns, grow right from the animal’s skull and are made of real bone, not keratin. Antlers do not have a blood supply inside of them as horns do.
Instead, the velvet cover is a way for them to get help from outside sources as they grow. After the mating season, the antlers will fall off on their own and then grow back, getting bigger each year. Antlers help keep the social order of a group of deer together and help female deer choose mates. If antlers only grow on adult male deer and are shed seasonally, there are several ways to tell a male from a female. Because male deer have bigger feet than female deer, their tracks are wider. Unlike females, who lift their feet higher and leave a cleaner trail, bucks often drag their feet as they walk. When a buck is watching out for them, does will stick together to stay safe. If he doesn’t have a herd, a buck may go out on his own to find females. A deer that is by itself is likely a male.
- Men will urinate as they walk, but women will stop and squat.
- Position: A male will lead the herd and go out first to protect the dogs and young. The leader of the herd will be a male.
- How to Tell How Old a Male Deer Is
- Male deer are given different names based on how old they are. So, how can you tell
How old a male deer is from far away?
What’s the difference between a young male and a young female deer? Here is the best advice we can give to older male deer:
- The antlers of a full-grown male deer make him easy to spot.
- They won’t be on young males or female deer.
- A young male may look like a girl because he doesn’t have antlers, but he is still about the same size as an adult male.
- About the time they are three years old, their neck muscles start to get stronger. The necks of younger men are also smaller than those of older women.
- Young deer have long, skinny legs that make their bodies look “gangly.” They won’t get “stocky” and spread out more evenly until they are four years old.
Deer leave scent trails with glands on their back legs called tarsal glands. Because more hormones are released by older, sexually mature males, this patch of fur will look darker as the deer gets older. When viewed from the side, the antlers of an older buck will reach the length of the snout. A younger buck’s antlers will be pulled back more.
Spread of the antlers: The spread of a young buck’s antlers won’t be more than 35 cm, but an older buck’s antlers can be up to 40 cm apart. Beginner hunters may find it hard to tell how old a buck is by looking at its antlers because they grow to different lengths depending on how good the environment is.
Two deer families
There are up to 100 different kinds of deer, which can be put into two families:
There are also different ways to name males in different species and families. See our quick guide below for a quick summary of the most well-known species in each family. Bucks are the males of the Cervinae species of red deer. Also, the word “hart” is only used for male red deer over five years old.
- Sika Deer: Male sika deer are often called stags, but when they are in a group, they are called bucks.
- Barasingha: An adult male of this species is called a stag, but a young male is called a buck.
- Male Capreolinae Roe Deer: The word “roebuck” is just a combination of the words “buck” and “roedeer” and refers to the male of this species.
- Brocket Deer: Bucks is the only name for the males of this species.
- Reindeer: Unlike other types of deer, which only have antlers on males, both male and female reindeer have antlers. Both buck and stag can be used to talk about male reindeer.
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