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History of the Muntjac Deer
The muntjac deer is a small deer native to forests in southern and south eastern Asia. Muntjac have been introduced to other areas, including the UK.
The muntjac deer is the oldest known deer species, with fossils dating back to the Early Miocene epoch. The fossil record indicates that the muntjac was once widespread throughout Eurasia but became restricted to southern Asia during the late Pliocene or early Pleistocene epochs (1.8-2 million years ago).
Muntjac are one of the few deer species that can breed year-round. This attribute, combined with their ability to adapt to a wide range of habitats, has allowed them to spread rapidly throughout parts of the world where they have been introduced.
The muntjac deer was introduced to England in the early 1900s by Duke Henry of Norfolk. The duke thought that the muntjac deer would make for good hunting game, so he released several of them onto his estate in Norfolk.
This introduction of the muntjac deer into England was poorly thought out and has since had negative consequences for the environment and native wildlife.
The muntjac deer population in England has exploded and is now considered an invasive species. Muntjac deer are blamed for eating the eggs of ground-nesting birds and damaging crops and garden plants.
Muntjac Deer Diet
The muntjac deer is a herbivore that primarily eats leaves, shoots, and other vegetation. In addition to its plant-based diet, the muntjac will occasionally eat fruits, nuts, insects, and eggs. The muntjac has a flexible diet which allows it to survive in various habitats, including forests, grasslands, and even urban areas.
Muntjac Deer Mating Season UK
The muntjac deer can mate at any time throughout the year. You can often hear muntjac competing for mates by making loud vocalizations, rutting (battling with their antlers or spikes), chasing females, and marking their territory by urinating. The gestation period for muntjac deer is around 210 days and they typically only have one offspring at a time
Males and females look similar except for antlers and size. Males have antlers that fork as they grow, whereas females either lack antlers or grow simple spikes. On average, males weigh between 10kg and 16 kg. Male muntjac also tend to be slightly larger than females, with average shoulder heights between 44 and 52cm.
Both sexes have short brown hair with white spots on their backs and flanks. Males also have a gland on their forehead that produces a strong-smelling substance used to mark their territory
How to Hunt a Muntjac Deer
When hunting muntjac deer, it is important to remember that they are small and agile animal. Therefore, hunters must have patience and use stealth when pursuing them. The best time to hunt muntjac deer is early morning or late evening when they are most active.
It is important to be aware of their small size, agility, and sharp senses. Utilizing stealth, camouflage, and scent-eliminating sprays are important considerations when hunting muntjac deer. With the right knowledge and techniques, hunters can have a successful hunt for this species of deer
Finally, hunters need appropriate ammunition for the size of the muntjac deer, ensuring that they are taken as humanely and quickly as possible
The muntjac deer is an interesting species with a history dating back millions of years. They can be found in many parts of the world and are occasionally hunted for sport.