April 2017 - Deer Stalkers Almanac
- Wednesday, 29 March 2017
The 1st April represents a fundamental shift in the UK, with the females of five of the UK’s six species of deer now protected for seven months until the 1st November, thereby affording them time to raise their young.
The exception being Muntjac, who have no closed season due to birthing taking place throughout the year.
Of course whilst the females are protected there is still plenty of sport to be had with the males, however, it is amongst another of the UK’s smallest species of deer that there is an exception, namely Chinese Water Deer, who, due to the lack of distinguishing characteristics between the male and female are both protected from the 1st April until the 31st October to avoid the possibility of taking a female by mistake.
So what does that leave? Well, in England & Wales, for another month at least, quite a lot, in fact all of the males except CWD. What is more, as is typical of this time of year, the males are more visible than at other times. Make the most of this because in just one month’s time it will only be Roebuck and Muntjac for several months to come.
North of the boarder things are a little different in April, with just Roebuck and Fallow Buck in season.
So with all that cleared up! What else should you know about April? Well, whilst it is relatively easy to spot your quarry it is not a great time to be shooting the mature males. This is because the herding species are already starting to cast and many Roebuck will still be in ‘tatters’.
If you are simply culling young males this is not an issue, indeed it is a very good time to be out as the deer, especially the Roe, are extremely visible in their family groups, however if it is a trophy Roebuck that you are after, then hold off. Even if the mature Roebuck are clean of velvet, they will not have developed the aesthetically pleasing depth of colour that scores highly with the measuring boards and only comes after months of thrashing.
On to this month’s film in which County Deer Stalking author James Schneider takes a lovely shot off sticks to dispatch a Muntjac Buck. To Watch the film please follow thsi link 'March 2017': short-films
IN Season in England & Wales: Fallow Buck, Roebuck, Sika Stag, Red Stag, Muntjac Buck & Muntjac Doe.
Off Season in England & Wales: Roe Doe, Fallow Doe, Sika Hind, Red Hind, CWD Buck & CWD Doe.
In Season in Scotland: Fallow Buck, Roebuck
Off Season in Scotland: Red Stag & Red Hind, Sika Stag & Sika Hind, Roe Doe and Fallow Doe.
(Peter Jones - Editor)