The hoof print of a red deer is called the slot. It's been the only sign of the presence of stags on Blacka for several days, until yesterday when two were in the distance showing up very red in sunlight against the dull heather.
The slot was a very important way of gaining information for those involved in stag hunting on Exmoor. The key person was known as 'the harbourer'. His job was to find where a 'runnable' stag was on the morning of the hunt. This stag had to be preferably at least five years old and with at least two points on top. An experienced local man would have been able to tell from the size of the slot the age of the stag he was tracking, the time that he travelled that way and the speed at which he was moving. In that way he could trace the animal to the particular copse or part of the wood where he was lying for the day.
His "bed" - the space he selects to lie for the day - is usually on the most level piece of ground he can find in the copse. He does not mind if it is a little damp, so long as it is level. He merely lies down and makes no nest as a fox will, turning round and round till the grasses are fitted to his body. But as the stag will lie in the same place day after day, there is a depression in the fern or grasses corresponding to his size. When he has settled himself down he is said to be "in harbour", and it is curious that if once a stag has chosen a part of the copse, the next that comes will generally go and lie very near the same spot, though the first may have left it weeks. (Jefferies)