The Difference Between a Stag and a Buck

The main difference between a stag and a buck is in their meaning. While a stag is an adult male deer, a buck is used to denote all male deers. Sometimes, the term ‘buck’ is also used for referring to males of sheep, goat, rabbits and hare.

Below we will be discussing these two terms in detail. So let’s start.

What is a Stag?

A stag is a fully grown male deer with a fairly large built size. Having matured fully, stags are also easily recognisable through their antlers. They have huge antlers as compared to other male deers that they often use to fight with other stags for exhibiting their authority or for luring partners.

Next coming to their bodies, stags are blessed with a majestic body. They have long muscular legs, a beautiful neck, and huge antlers on their head. Their hooves are also larger in size to perfectly proportionate their bodies and also pack a ferocious kick that can be fatal.

However, various regions often term a fully grown male deer with several names, apart from a stag. In certain areas, a mature male deer is often recognised as ‘Bulls’, and therefore confusion may arise.

What is a Buck?

Not to be confused with the Black Bucks, a Buck is a common term used to denote male deers of all subspecies. So as their term is rather standardised, they could be anything from a young male deer to a fully grown one. This factor alone makes it a huge difference between a stag and a buck.

Apart from having male reproductive organs, bucks are generally larger in size when compared to females of the same subspecies. This is marked by their longer legs, bulkier bodies and presence of antlers (excluding special cases such as water deers and reindeers).

Bucks have one of the largest spread habitats and distribution. They are found almost everywhere, except Antarctica, as the temperature there is too low for them to survive and flourish.

So, What is the Difference Between a Stag and a Buck?

To understand the difference between a stag and a buck in a more refined way, we have prepared the below table.

Term UsageTo define a fully matured adult male deerTo denote male deers of all subspecies that may be both mature and young. However may also be used for males of sheep, goats, and rabbits in various areas.
SizeHuge as compared to other deers of the same subspeciesRelatively larger than the females of the same subspecies but smaller than stags
Usage of TermNot standardised, may vary from place to placeStandardised and multi use
Physical formHave a strong muscular body with majestic antlersStronger body than females and have antlers (except water deers)
Habitat PreferenceUpland, moorland, coniferous woodland, heathlandTemperate mixed deciduous forest, mountain mixed coniferous forest, savanna habitats, and tropical seasonal/dry forests
AntlersHave huge antlers that are heavily branchedMay or may not have antlers or have small antlers
StrengthThey are really strongThey might or might not be strong

Final Thoughts

Both stags and bucks are male deers. However, the terms are used variably as described above. So, depending upon how mature they are, their antlers size, and habitat type the difference between a stag and a buck is decided.

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