Sika Grande, or “silk” deer are a hybrid cross of an American elk, Cervus canadensis, and sika deer, Cervus nippon. US (Missouri and Texas)
Developed as a alternative to raising deer for venison production. Able to build up herds at a minimal cost, yet produce a much larger carcass at a young age.
Silk deer will weigh considerably more than Sika and less than an average size elk. Their weight, height, and horn length vary greatly depending on how much of the animal’s genetic makeup is composed of elk traits. Coat is generally brown to rusty in color and may show very light spotting. Antlers are often in the configuration of a very large sika, usually sporting 3 to 4 points per side. Males weights will range from 260lbs to 400lbs (rare). Females typically weigh just shy of 200 lbs, but can range from 175 to 275 lbs.
Use a mixture of vegetation and openings, taking shelter in brushy draws or oak mottes. Males in hard antler are known to be aggressive. Like wading in water to cool themselves and have been known to utilize water troughs to do so.
Have a very adaptable diet and can often utilize what is available. Mostly browsers but will take grass and forbs. Need accessible drinking water.
Silk are usually fertile with each other as well as both of the original species (elk and sika). Breeding season can run from August to December and give birth starting in March and reaching into June. Females gestate for 7 to 7.5 months and usually birth one fawn. Males and females mature sexuality at 1 year and 4 months.
Keeping and Producing Silk Deer
Usually a calm animal that are relatively easy to handle. Though hard antler bulls are sometimes aggressive, they are not nervous, flighty or easily excitable. Elk bull may have to be isolated from other elk before it will breed sika. 7.5 ft fence is recommended, but can usually get away with a 6 ft fence, even in handling pens, as long it has an opaque barrier.
Silk Deer Hunting
Check out our ‘Find A Hunt’ section for featured outfitters that offer Sika Grande hunts.