Deer Hunting in the UK - April Almanac
Things are all change from 1st April, we explain what's happening in the deer world.
(Above: Pregnant Roe Doe amongst the Bluebells courtesy of E.Dryburgh)
It is all change in April, as legislation demands a shift of focus away from the Hinds and Does in a bid to prevent the young from being orphaned. All females, except the Muntjac doe are now protected.
With regard to the male’s, things are not quite so straight forward in April. The Roebuck season is just getting underway across the whole of the UK, the male CWD is protected. In Scotland all males save for the Roebuck and Fallow Buck are out of season and in England & Wales all males (save CWD) are in season!
It may sound like utter nonsense, but in fact this all based on sound reasoning that revolves around the ability to distinguish between the sexes, protecting the young, and the antler casting cycle. If you are heading out this April it is therefore, well worth taking a few minutes to familiarise yourself with what you can and can not hunt – if I do say so myself, that ladies and gents, is one reason why these almanacs are so useful. See the bottom of the page for a detailed break-down.
However, in a ‘nut-shell’, the month of April marks the point at which the females are protected and the start of the season for Roebuck.
With that said most hunters, especially trophy hunters, will not seek to shoot a promising Roebuck until May. The reason for this, is that Roebuck, especially the younger animals, will usually remain in velvet until late April, meaning that once the velvet is removed, the hard antler will appear white and absent of the rich brown colour that is achieved after a number of weeks spent thrashing and fraying.
None the less, April can be a terrific month to weed out less promising Roebuck, who otherwise may be expelled from your land by more dominant bucks as the testosterone levels start to rise and the jostling for territory begins in May - a period which, for sheer excitement and drama is second only to the Roe rut in late July/August.
To celebrate this high point in the Roebuck season the Capreolus Club is holding its ‘Roebuck Madness event’ on the 10th May which consist of a double stalk session and breakfast, and the chance to bag a once in a lifetime buck at a fraction of the cost. If you haven’t got your Roebuck stalking sorted for the year then follow this link to find out more about this event: roebuck-madness and for more information about Capreolus Club membership click here: membership-benefits
Finally, this month’s film, during which we take a look back at another of the Capreolus Club stalk days which this year coincided with a fresh fall of snow across the Hampshire countryside: youtube
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)