Sika buck was likely a farm escapee, or offspring of one
Bill Lowrance was surprised to see this sika buck on Nov. 22, 2022 in Kings Mountain, NC. It was his first time seeing the deer.
“I had never seen it before, not even on my trail cams. I shot it last Tuesday and state biologists came and took samples from it. And I have no idea where it came from,” he said.
NCWRC deer biologist Moriah Boggess said sika deer have popped up from time to time in several North Carolina counties over the years. The Commission believes they come from a remnant population of sikas that have escaped from deer farms.
“Some that have been shot had holes in their ears from tags, but some did not. Still, we believe they are remnants of those that have escaped from farms. There’s really no other explanation for them being here,” he said.
Sika deer are an exotic species in North Carolina and can be harvested anytime of the year. It is extremely important that the animal is clearly identified as a sika deer before harvest, to eliminate the chance of illegally taking an elk calf or white-tailed deer. Sika deer should not be tagged on a big game harvest report card because they are not considered wildlife, instead call your local district wildlife biologist immediately after harvest and notify them.