I made a visit to a property in Dorchester County today. Said “hi” to my ancestors and a herd of Sika.
From Maryland DNR: Sika deer are small members of the elk family that have a dark brown to black coat. Sikas tend to keep their white spots as adults which are more prominent during summer. Males, aka stags, also have a dark shaggy mane running down their neck. Sika deer have a white rump patch that flares outward when alarmed. Proportionally to white-tailed deer, sika deer have shorter snouts and smaller ears. Sika antlers can reach lengths up to 15 inches. Sika stags typically weigh 90 pounds while females, aka hinds, weigh around 70 pounds. They are 2 ½ feet high at the shoulder.
Sika deer originate mostly from Japan, Taiwan, and East Asia. In the United States, sika deer have been introduced in various locations, including Texas, Virginia, and Maryland’s Eastern Shore. They were introduced to Maryland in the early 1900s when Clement Henry released 5 or 6 deer on James Island. Today, the population primarily inhabits Dorchester, Wicomico, Somerset, and Worcester counties as well as Assateague Island. Read more