August 2017 - Deer Stalkers Almanac
- Wednesday, 26 July 2017
With the 1st August there comes a sigh of relief amongst many stalkers and a turning point in the huntsman's calendar.
Legislation in the UK restricts the hunting of deer in their antler growing phase. This means that for many stalkers who hunt over grounds that encompass Fallow, Red and Sika deer, the early summer months can represent a frustrating break from their beloved hobby. For this reason in England & Wales the 1st August is an eagerly anticipated date, as it represents a resumption in activities.
When I first started stalking in the Fallow rich area of Ashdown Forest in Sussex, I too found myself a little ‘twitchy’ and somewhat prone to wishing away the early summer months in order that I could recommence my stalking. Of course, if you are lucky enough to have a ground that also holds reasonable densities of Roe or Muntjac, you will be able to enjoy your sport 365 days a year. However I have observed that areas that have high densities of the larger species of deer, often do so to the detriment of the smaller species. The reasons for this are well documented and include higher browse lines and preferred topography’s. Other more dubious speculation includes the opinion that the larger species chase off the smaller species. Personally I have not found this to be true. Indeed quite to the contrary, I have on more than one occasion witnessed testosterone fuelled Roebuck ousting small herds of Fallow from their territories.
At any rate, whatever your opinion on the variables that affect the geographical spread of deer, with the 1st August there comes a sigh of relief amongst many stalkers and a turning point in the huntsman’s calendar, from which point stalking for Red, Sika and Fallow just gets better and better as high summer turns to autumn and with it the arrival of the autumn rut.
Of course in Scotland things started a month earlier, however with the biting midges, near non-existent hours of dark and the fact that the Red and Sika will still be in velvet, it is, in my opinion, a month too early, and therefore the sensible excursions is booked a little later in the season.
IN Season in England & Wales: Roebuck, Fallow Buck, Red & Sika Stag, Muntjac Buck & Muntjac Doe.
OFF Season in England & Wales: Roe Doe, Fallow Doe, Sika Hind, Red Hind, CWD Bucks & CWD Doe.
IN Season in Scotland: Roebuck, Red Stag, Sika Stag, Fallow Buck, Muntjac Buck & Doe.
OFF Season in Scotland: Roe Doe, Fallow Doe, Sika Hind, Red Hind.
(Peter Jones - Editor)