December 2016 - Deer Stalkers Almanac
- Friday, 25 November 2016
To quote the terribly un-pc verse of a song from the chaps at Monty Python: “I like Chinese, I like Chinese, they only come up to your knees”, indeed it is true, as is the later verse: “I like Chinese, their food is guaranteed to please” which it does.
Before you think I have taken leave of my senses, I am of course referring to Chinese Water Deer (CWD) and there are few better times of the year to hunt them. In fact during December there are few better months to devote to both of the UK’s smallest, and largely overlooked, species of deer, namely Muntjac and Chinese Water Deer, venison from both of which is widely thought to be better and less gamey than from that of the larger deer species.
So why is December such a good month for CWD and Muntjac? Well there are a few reasons, firstly both species are of course small, or to coin a well used phrase in relation to these species ‘diminutive’. And so during the course of much of the year they are simply lost from sight in the understorey. During the winter months with the ground cover all but gone, these little deer are somewhat easier to spot.
Secondly for CWD December marks the rut, during which the males become aggressive and mark their territories by making scrapes in the ground. As with most rutting males the distraction and allure of females, mean that the deer become more visible and easy to stalk, and therein lies another reason why December is so good.
As for Muntjac, as most deer stalkers with even the most basic knowledge of their sport will know, these deer are in season all year round, yet many stalkers of Muntjac will restrict their stalking of this species to the winter months, when personally I, like many others, feel that the sport is better and there is a lesser propensity of orphaning young.
And it is to these ancient but often less treasured deer that we devote this month’s film, which coincidentally this December, again comes to you from Norfolk, and during which I successfully take four animals whilst on a trip with the Capreolus Club. Follow this link to watch the film: short-films
IN Season in England & Wales: Roe Does, Fallow Does & Fallow Buck, Sika Stags & Sika Hinds, Red Stags & Red Hinds, CWD Bucks & CWD Does, Muntjac Buck & Muntjac Does.
OFF Season in England & Wales: Roe Buck.
In Season in Scotland: Fallow Buck, Fallow Does, Roe Does, Sika Hinds, Red Hinds.
Off Season in Scotland: Red Stags, Sika Stags & Roe Buck
(Peter Jones - Editor)