Something I try to encourage as a hunter is to leave young stags that show potential as future trophies. I went into the 2019 roar with high hopes of securing a mature red stag, something with age, character, and with any luck over the 300 Douglas Score mark. Stags of that calibre are few and far between on public land in the central North island, but they do exist.
On our first hunt we came across a young, even ten-pointer grazing in a small clearing. I aged him at between three and four years old. Perfect form on brows, bez and trez, good length for a younger animal. He had the potential to grow into something really amazing given the chance.