Deer Hunters Almanac - August
- Tuesday, 27 July 2021
With the 01st August, comes a shift in the statutory 'open season' for deer stalking. We tell you what's about to happen.
For a few weeks now, I have been watching a little raiding party of Fallow buck venture out of the woods onto one of our landowner’s wheat fields.
Regular as clockwork, around an hour before last light, these marauding deer have just a few days to change their habits, or else in just a few days’, on the 01st August, sure as ‘eggs is eggs’ my first client will be on for a dead cert’.
Coming across these deer will no doubt look easy to my client, who will be unaware of the many days of observation that have resulted in us being able to stalk in on our quarry. Indeed, when it comes to collaring a few early season Fallow buck, there is no substitute for time spent on the ground. Something which the professional stalker can afford, and something that sets him or her apart from the recreational stalker who, unless he is very lucky, does not have the luxury of frequent hours spent in the field.
During the early part of August on our usual Hampshire ground, there is a fair chance that the Roe will also still be rutting, so the combination of both Fallow and Roebuck being in season, considerably ups the odds of a successful stalk.
Whilst its Fallow on the patch in Hampshire, on our other grounds in Dorset, Sika Stag will also be on the agenda, and further afield still, Red Stag. A word of warning however, if your aim is to genuinely make an impact on numbers, you might be better placed to leave the males well alone during the summer months, because these deer species can be very susceptible to pressure.
You may think its advantageous to make an early start on the males, however, you’d be wrong. Shooting a few males will have absolutely no impact on your population but will have a very detrimental effect on your ability to locate animals, when the season for females commences on 21st October in Scotland and 01st November south of the border.
Personally, I shall shoot a few males and then leave them alone for a while until the rut, likewise with the Sika. Shoot them hard and infrequently is the lesson that I have learnt over the years and when you do shoot them, you need to think ahead. Males of the larger species weigh considerably more than the Roebuck that we have been shooting up until now, so you need to give some consideration to how you are going to extract and process the resulting heavy carcasses from field to fork.
As the hunting season for Roebuck dissolves in favour of the UK’s largest land mammals, in turn you must make subtle changes in your technique and equipment. Good luck!
If you’d like to hunt Fallow buck or Red & Sika Stag, the Capreolus Club has some superb trips organised during the very pinnacle of the respective autumn ruts. Visit the clubs events page for more details: https://www.capreolusclub.co.uk/trips-events/
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.
OFF Season in Scotland: Roe Doe, Fallow Doe, Sika Hind, Red Hind.
(Peter Jones - Editor)