Sika Deer

Cervus Nippon

Sika Deer were introduced from Japan to various parts of Scotland, England and Ireland in the late 1800’s. Wherever they were introduced they have done very well, being innately secretive and very hardy. Very hard to harvest, the Sika is famed for its eating qualities and often gets a premium as a result. It does not spread out in population ranges like other deer but is very populous where it is found.

Season: In England Males ( stags) are available from August to April, but mostly harvested from September onwards. Females are in season November to March. As with most species Sika are mostly available November to mid April for restaurant use.

Size: Sika males are on average 26-40 k depending on age. Females are usually 22-28kg.

Cooking Characteristics: The most prized venison in the UK, sika are unique in their ability to contain intramuscular fat, or marbling. This is partly due to their longer than usual digestive tract allowing more use of available foodstuffs. Certainly Sika taste amazing, almost beefy.

Yield: A 30 kg sika will yield 16 prime portions per haunch, 12 off the saddle and 10 off the shoulders and neck. 55 portions or so depending on use.