A hunter can legally harvest the deer, which looks to be around 400 pounds
Those hunting in the region around Augusta, Georgia, may have the opportunity to harvest a large deer not native to the state, or even the country.
A red stag has been photographed by a number of trail cameras in that area, and it can be legally killed by a hunter.
I.B. Parnell, a wildlife biologist for the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, told wrdw.com, 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).
Parnell says the deer looks to be several years old and has a decent set of antlers.
State deer biologist Charlie Killmaster told USA Today that red deer are native to northern Europe and this one looks to be approximately 400 pounds.
It blows my mind that this thing has made it this many weeks into the firearms deer season and hasn't gotten shot yet, Killmaster said. He's highly nocturnal and that might have something to do with it.
Adams said that 99% of the photos he has seen have been taken at night, and all of them have been on remote game cameras. As far as he knows, no one has seen it with their own eyes.
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Adult whitetail deer usually weigh between 75 and 250 pounds, but a red stag can grow as large as 500 pounds — more than twice the size of a normal whitetail. Georgia DNR says the stag likely escaped from a deer farm, but all the deer farms in the area say it's not theirs.
Parnell says, 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.
He says that whoever harvests the animal is allowed to keep the head, the meat, and the antlers, but the hunter should contact the department so it can get a disease sample.
GDNR asks that if a hunter harvests the stag, he or she call 706-595-4222 during business hours Monday through Friday, or 800-241-4113 during weekends or after hours.