Deer Hunters Almanac - April
- Friday, 26 March 2021
The deer stalking seasons all change in April, we look in detail at the month ahead.
Super excited this month to have just returned from an absolutely fabulous deer stalking trip to the beautiful Isle of Purbeck in Dorset, where I was hunting Sika deer.
Sika deer are a rarity for most stalkers, including myself, as they are not widely distributed. Occurring in the UK in the highlands of Scotland and being resident in their highest numbers in Dorset - from where I have just returned, they are thriving.
Not only this, but the area is also designated as one of ‘outstanding natural beauty’ and offers something quite different in terms of feel to the rest of southern England.
The timing of my trip encompassed the last few days of the season for females, and I was delighted to take a Sika Hind with the event forming the subject of this month’s film, a film which to my mind is perhaps our finest film to date. What’s more, members of the Capreolus Club will be able to access these wonderful grounds later in the year, via exclusive club trips, so it provides a wonderful insight into some of the quality events that are increasingly becoming available to members of what we believe, is now easily the finest deer stalking club in the UK.
Equipped with a Blaser R8 Ultimate in 300 Winchester Magnum and a Swarovksi DS scope this could in fact, be the ‘Ultimate’ combination! You can watch the film here: youtube.com/watch
Of course, looking ahead to April, females are protected however, there is a last gasp at the males with Sika & Red Stag and Fallow Buck remaining in season until the end of the month, when they begin to cast their antlers.
The 1st of April also marks an important day in the Roe season with the transition from Roe Doe to Roebuck. Personally, I will be glad for it. I dislike shooting too many Roe females too late in the season, added to which this year we have been seeing an abundance of Roebuck. Just last week in fact on an early a.m. stalk, we witnessed no fewer than eight Roe in a single field, five of which were males!
That’s not to say that I will be shooting the mature males early on. This is because the mature males will still be in velvet, or at any rate, in ‘tatters’, so it would be a great shame to harvest a Roebuck in this condition, when in just another months’ time he will be in glossy red coat and hard antler.
Whether you are hunting Sika or Red stag, Fallow buck or Roebuck, April is therefore a time to select a few immature males and look forward to the hazy days of summer, when Roebuck stalking is at its very best.
A final thing to mention this month, which will be useful to all of those that process their own shot carcasses, and especially useful to those taking their DSC2 or PDS2. As ‘Approved Witnesses in Deer Management Qualifications’ here at County Deer Stalking, we are proud to have released a ‘Master Class in Gralloching & Inspection’ via our e-learning platform. It’s a fabulous way to learn from the very best, how to inspect and gralloch a deer. You can enrol simply by following this link: huntingacademy
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.
(Left: Editor Peter Jones)