By all accounts a noble creature, the white stag possessed the ability to continually elude its hunters, who chased it not for the kill, but the thrill of pursuit. Often the stag led those who took up the chase on a quest, or by its mere appearance, signaled that the time for a quest was at hand. Many tales suggest its presence heralded coming change. At times, the stag was depicted as having almost human-like understanding and certainly far beyond animal intelligence.
In the extended version of DOS, the dwarves encounter an elk - the manifestation of king Thranduil. They try to hurt it, then Thranduil senses they are on a questand captures them.
Oh my. Got shivers down my spine from this.