Stags prove they are rising stars

Matthew Tayles, of Waipounamu, shows off velvet from the family's top stag, Totara. Photo: Supplied
Matthew Tayles, of Waipounamu, shows off velvet from the family's top stag, Totara. Photo: Supplied
Lindsay Tayles was delighted when his two stags did well in the recent National Rising Stars 2019 velvet and hard antler awards at Black Forest Park, Outram.

He and his son Matthew have a 300ha sheep and deer property at Waipounamu, near Riversdale.

He runs 250 hinds and 390 velveting stags, producing about three tonnes of velvet a year.

His 8-year-old stag Totara, from Netherdale Stud, produced a 16.54kg (17kg when cut) entry, earning Mr Tayles first place in the super heavyweight 10kg-plus section at the March 16 awards.

Another stag, 3-year-old Harley, also from Netherdale Stud, produced 10.16kg (10.4kg when cut) of velvet in the same section.

Both entries were slightly less than their original weight, because they had been frozen.

Velvet from Totara also placed third in the national velvet competition in December in Invercargill.

Other successes included Tikana Wapiti Stud, owned by Dave and Donna Lawrence, of Browns. Their entries placed first, second and third in the elk/wapiti velvet section.

Their entries weighed 9.71kg, 8.18kg and 8.44kg.

Bruce and Jenny Paterson, of Lower Scotts Gap, won first and second place in the two-year red velvet section with entries weighing 7.14kg and 6.55kg.

John and Mel Somerville, of Arawata Deer Farm, Pinebush, Southland, were third in the same competition with 5.52kg.

Mr Tayles said while he was a commercial farmer, he did sell a few sire stags and a few velveters.

''Totara is co-owned by Kelly and James Hudson, of Timaru.''

''We have got three years of progeny from him.

''Totara has increased my herd average velvet weight by about 1kg.

''Totara's 2-year-old sons this year averaged 5.6kg of velvet, which is 1kg heavier than our two-year-old average.

''His top 2-year-old son cut 8.2kg. It has been amazing, the increase over the years.

''The whole herd average is 7.8kg [fresh].

Both Totara and Harley came from the Netherdale stud in Balfour, owned by David Stevens.

''Harley is also a rising star and we hope to take our herd to the next level with him.''

New Zealand Deer Farmers Association Otago branch chairman Richard Currie said the awards were mainly for showcasing up and coming, top-producing 1, 2 and 3-year old animals for velvet and hard antler.

The Otago Advance Party, supported by the association, will hold a field day at the Poolburn Moa Creek Hall on April 10, from 2pm, for all deer farmers in the region.

''They will look at how to best utilise high-octane forages, specifically for deer,'' he said.

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