frequently asked questions

Below we have answered 10 of the most commonly asked questions by clients on their first Sambar hunt. The answers are brief so as to give you a basic idea on the various subjects. Obviously on each of the topics there is a lot more that can be learned.

What is the best time of year to hunt Sambar Deer?

Sambar Deer can be hunted all year. However during the summer months the ground litter in the bush is dry and crunchy and this makes stalking very difficult. Under these conditions the best approach we have found to be is to try and ambush the deer returning to their bedding areas at first light. Also you can stalk along good game trails or walking tracks at first light. This method is good for the first hour or so, while there is a little dew on the ground. By far the best time to hunt is during the winter months (Late May to end of September). During this time of the year the ground is wet and stalking is a great deal quieter then during the summer. This allows the hunter to get a lot closer to deer and increases shot opportunities.

How big do Sambar stag antlers grow?

Essentially no one really knows. Each year there seems to be a few Stags taken with antlers in the mid 30" length, so it is reasonable to assume that this would be pretty much what a stag can grow to. However if you consider the size of the Sambar range and that the areas that are hunted make up only a small part of this area it is not beyond possibility that there could be stags with antler length beyond the mid 30" mark.

What is the best calibre for Sambar deer?

The minimum legal calibre in Victoria for hunting Sambar deer is the .270 Winchester using 130 gn projectile. Essentially any calibre from this and beyond will do the job. It is essential that you are able to shoot what ever calibre you choose quickly and accurately. For any deer not hit in correct place will almost certainly not be recovered.

Where is the correct spot to place my shot?

For a frontal heart shot, divide the body into thirds and place your shot about mid way between the bottom line and half way line. Vertically align your reticle to equally divide the light between the front legs.

Frontal shot

A broardside heart shot is the same as above with the exception of the vertical reticle which should be aligned with the rear edge of the front leg.

Broadside shot

When do Sambar Stags Rut?

Unlike Fallow and Red deer a Sambar Stag can be in rut at any time of the year. This is almost certainly due to the fact that there can be a doe in season at any time of the year.

Are Sambar Stags vocal during the rut?

In short, No. Despite what some people believe, Sambar stags do not emit any sort of call such as Red deer or Elk.

What does a Sambar track look like?

deer track

What does preaching tree look like?

preach tree

This preaching tree is some what unusual as it does not have a over hanging branch that is typical of most preaching trees. However as can be seen by the churned up ground around the base of the tree it has been used by various stag over a long period of time. The one reason for this is that there is a wallow in the same little clearing. The preaching tree is used by stags as a territory marker. A stag will rear up on his hind legs and rub his head on the tree as high as he can reach. This deposits sent from his pre-orbital glands that are located below the eyes.

What does a wallow look like?

wallow 1
Wallow 2

As with preaching trees and rub trees a wallow is a territory marker. Only stags will use wallow, however does and fawns will frequent wallows as much for a source of drinking water as to find what other deer are in the area.

What does a rub tree look like?

rub tree

Sambar stags use rub trees for two main reasons. The first is to strip velvet from their antlers. The second is to mark their territory.

Ken Leatham