When Teresa Morris of Islay Wildscapes sent me the images of the Red Deer Rut on Jura she told me there were some special images of a Cromie Stag. I have done some research on the internet and came up with a fascinating chapter from a book called “The Deer Forests Of Scotland”. This book, written by A. Grimble, was first published in 1896 and contains pages full of interesting information about the Red Deer and particularly about the Jura Red Deer and the Cromie Stags. I will quote the most interesting paragraphs below:
Mention must now be made of an extraordinary curiosity of the Jura Forests, called “the cromie stag,” Gaelic for “crooked.” In Jura only do
these stags exist; how they got there or whence they came no one knows, but there they have been from time immemorial, and confident I feel either that they are a distinct race, or that some stag from foreign lands once managed to get to Jura in days gone by and left his mark behind him. Even in Jura these “cromies” are very scarce, living only in certain parts of the island, where perhaps three or four “cromies” may be seen to one hundred others, and the whole forest may not contain a score of them. In twelve years Mr. Evans has shot but eleven, and for several seasons past none at all, although by this it must not be inferred that absence from the larder means absence from the hill, for, thanks to Mr. Evans’ care, there are still ” cromies ” in Jura.
The horns of the “cromie” slope backwards and are set on the head at a totally different angle to those of the ordinary stag ; likewise the beam is seldom round like the usual horn, but tends to varying degrees of flatness, and in a cast horn, kindly sent me by Mr. Evans, that part above the coronet is nearly quite flat. I consider these “cromie” heads so curious, so interesting, and so difficult to convey any idea of by words, that I have deemed the head of the ” crooked one ” well worthy of illustration, and the drawing shows most accurately the remarkable features of the best ” cromie ” head ever got in Jura, and though at first sight it may appear ugly as compared with that of the usual monarch of the glen, I am sure all deer fanciers will eventually agree with me in regarding the head as a wild and beautiful one, while the sight of it cannot fail to arouse speculation as to its origin.
The online publication contained no images but the magnificent images of Teresa in this post show exactly what is referred to in the quote above. The complete article is available from this link
I’d like to state that the images shown in this post may not be of a 100% pure Cromie Stag but they show the features of a typical Jura stag. I’d like to invite the readers of this post to send in any images of a true Jura Cromie stag, they will be added to this post. Please use the email address in the contact page. Thanks very much for your help.