August - A Look Ahead at Deer Stalking Across the UK
- Wednesday, 25 July 2018
With all males, save for CWD, in season across the whole of the UK from the 1st August, professional stalker Peter Jones considers the best plan of attack.
At last, August! Having grown up in the Fallow-dense area of Ashdown Forest, I used to wait with great excitement and anticipation for August and the commencement of the new season.
However, after a few years of bitter experience, I soon realised that in my initial enthusiasm to get going, I only served to sabotage the latter part of the season, as deer already fatigued from having been pursued in late summer, soon departed for areas where landowners were a little less zealous in their pursuit.
Of all deer species, Fallow (Dama dama) are perhaps the most sensitive to disturbance, a nomadic species that are known to travel many miles in a single night, Fallow are intolerant of prolonged periods of pressure and in the UK where there are plenty of pockets where landowners do not permit culling and/or fail to go about it with sufficient gusto, there are many areas to where the deer can escape and find respite.
Indeed, it can be especially frustrating for the arable farmer who over the summer months witnesses large herds of Fallow lying up in his crops and imagines that from the 1st August it will possible for the stalker to make a dent in their numbers, only to find that the herd seemingly vanishe at the first hint of trouble and returns the following year in still greater numbers! Indeed, this is perhaps why Fallow are so well adapted to the UK countryside and have reached, in some areas, near biblical proportions.
For those that have a serious Fallow problem, the answer is counter intuitive, less is more, start later and stalk infrequently, but when you do shoot, shoot hard and shoot females. As eager as you are to go stalking, getting going early in August by grassing a few males will do absolutely nothing to the overall population and will simply make your job much harder in the long run.
As an alternative, consider other less easily influenced animals. Roe are territorial and the rut is still at its height in early August. Red and Sika Stag are also now shootable and in Scotland, if you can bear the Midges, the season for Red and Sika stag has been underway since the middle of July.
Either way, whether you are a recreational stalker or a professional manager with a specific cull to meet, August represents a turning point and signals the start of exciting times ahead.
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)