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Red stag spotted on multiple trail cams in CSRA

DNR says hunters can harvest the animal. No one claiming ownership.
Published: Nov. 12, 2021 at 6:32 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 12, 2021 at 6:38 PM EST
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - For more than a month, trail cameras from local hunters have been capturing pictures of something big.

Red Stag Daytime Pic
Red Stag Daytime Pic(WRDW)

“So as far as I know it has been sighted, this is all trail camera pictures we’ve seen, from Jefferson, Glascock, Warren, Hancock, and Greene County (Georgia)” said I.B. Parnell, a wildlife biologist for the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

No, it’s not Bigfoot, but rather a very big deer, a red stag. Parnell added, “looked like it was several years old. It has a decent set of antlers on it and definitely an odd occurrence for the Augusta area and CSRA.”

Whitetail deer we see in the CSRA usually weigh between 75 to 250 pounds. Red stag on the other hand can get as much as 500 pounds, twice the size of a normal whitetail. Georgia DNR thinks these pictures are all the same animal. They believe the stag came from a deer farm that was depopulating their herd and had one of the animals get away, but all the deer farms around the region say it’s not theirs.

Parnell said, “the animal is not native to the state of Georgia and no one has claimed ownership of the animal, so an order has been given through our department that this animal can be lethally removed. That means a hunter can shoot it.”

If a hunter does harvest the animal, DNR asks they contact them. Parnell added, “they’re allowed to keep the head, the meat, the antlers, and the department needs them to contact us so that we can get a disease sample off of it and cover all our bases.”

Hunters are asked to call Georgia DNR if they harvest the red stag at 706-595-4222 during business hours Monday through Friday, or 800-241-4113 during weekends or after hours.

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