Deer Hunters Almanac - January
- Monday, 21 December 2020
Professional hunter Peter Jones considers if the UK’s statutory ‘open season’ for females is fit for purpose.
Its not often that I draw attention to remarks that we receive on ‘Youtube’, however, I was interested this month to read a comment made in relation to our latest film: ‘Sustainable Meat Eater’ filmed just a few days ago, in which a viewer expressed his concern about my shooting a mature Roe doe with last years Kid in tow.
The viewer stated: “Fawns need their mother at least till early spring to learn them how to get through a harsh winter. In shooting the mother you risk to create a less developed orphan…the Doe should have been left until the spring”.
Depending what the viewer means by spring, I pointed out that by the spring the doe will have either been heavily pregnant or have given birth to a newborn and asked the viewer when he would shoot females?
Clearly, females must be shot at some stage, and it is my view that the legislation in the moderate climate of England & Wales, where Females may be shot from 1st Nov, is fit for the purpose of ensuring that kids are not orphaned before they are truly independent of their mothers.
In Scotland with the open season for females starting even earlier (21st Oct) and with the climate being harsher, having shot a mature female its ‘follower’ will routinely be shot as best practice for the very reason that they do not develop well if orphaned. Considering the purpose of the statutory ‘Open Season’ for females in Scotland, I have often wondered if the legislation is equally fit for purpose.
I would be clear, that whilst I have shot frequently in Scotland, I have never been a professional stalker in these parts and so will not be best placed to pass further judgement. If you have got experience as a professional stalker in Scotland, answers on a post card please? I would love to know your thoughts.
One way or another, females must be shot if the deer manager is to make any impact on the deer population and it would seem to me, that in order to ensure well developed young, later in the season (January onward) is preferable albeit, I acknowledge that there is a job to do, and that doesn’t leave long in which to do it.
If you’d like to watch the film that has provoked such profound thinking! You can do so here: youtube.com/watch?
On to deer stalker training. Over the last decade the PDS1 Certificate has become an established and widely recognised UK Deer Stalking qualification. Recognising our role as a training provider, here at County Deer Stalking we are proud to have released a ground-breaking and innovative new Online version of the popular PDS1, that now enables candidates to complete their deer management qualification online.
For over a decade, County Deer Stalking has, through its trusted instruction, helped hundreds of beginners to become competent in the art of deer stalking and has assisted countless individuals in obtaining their own Firearm Certificates. Today, in a changing and uncertain world, where classrooms and group learning has become a thing of the past, and with an increasing trend toward e-learning, County Deer Stalking has adapted to offer the PDS1 Certificate Online. Something that means candidates can now complete and obtain the theory element of the PDS1 Certificate, at a time and place that suits them, without any compromise on quality.
Whether you’d like to take the qualification, or you know someone else that would benefit, please take a moment to have a look, and if you are interested in doing your PDS1 Course in ‘Lockdown’ Britain, why not give it a go this Christmas.
Watch the following trailer: deer-stalking-course
Finally, may I take this opportunity to thank all of our readers for your support and may I wish you all a very merry Christmas and happy new year!
Season in England & Wales: Roe Doe, Fallow Doe & Fallow Buck, Sika Stag & Sika Hind, Red Stag & Red Hind, CWD Buck & CWD Doe, Muntjac Buck & Muntjac Doe.
OFF Season in England & Wales: Roebuck.
In Season in Scotland: Fallow Buck, Fallow Doe, Roe Doe, Sika Hind, Red Hind.
Off Season in Scotland: Red Stag, Sika Stag & Roebuck
(Peter Jones - Editor)