Deer Stalkers Almanac - October
October is one of the most important months of the year for deer stalkers, we take a look at what is going on.
Before I kick off this month with my usual ramblings about what to expect during the month ahead, I would first like to draw your attention to a series of three short training films that are set to become accessible via the County Deer Stalking website during October.
In association with WMS Firearms Training, visitors to our website will soon be able to view instructional films about ‘Safety’, ‘Shooting Positions’ and ‘Long Range Shooting’. I hope that you’ll check back in with us during the month ahead to watch what I hope, will prove to be a useful training guide and the first of many more similarly themed films to come.
So on to business....what’s happening in the world of Deer? Well quite a lot actually! October is possibly one of the most eventful months in the deer stalkers calendar and for bucks and stags it is arguably ‘the’ most important month of the year.
The reason being, with some small variations as to timing, all three of the larger deer species are rutting. The word ‘Rut’ in fact comes from middle English ‘rutte’ and from Latin ‘rugire ‘to roar. The word has been in use since as far back as the 15th century and is defined as: “an annually recurrent state of sexual excitement in the male deer; broadly: sexual excitement in a mammal especially when periodic”
So which of the UK’s deer species are getting in on the action? Well it’s Sika and Red deer that are usually the first to come into season in late September. However the reason for October being a more prominent month, is because Fallow Buck are now also joining in with the widespread cacophony of ‘roaring’, ‘belching’, ‘whaling’ and general action, that can be heard when the UK’s largest wild beasts are in full rutting vigour.
(For more on when the UK Deer Species Rut follow this link: when-do-the-uk-deer-species-rut)
As is often the case with deer, weather will play an important role, this year we have had somewhat of an Indian Summer, however a cold snap is usually all it takes to get things underway, and I for one cannot wait. Regular readers will be aware that Autumn is far and away my favourite time of year. To get the most from the season this year, I will be in the Scottish Highlands on the 20th October, from where we will be aiming to get film footage for you of the final day of the season for Red Stags. What is more, I will be using a beautifully crafted rifle in 300 Winchester Magnum, generously donated to us by ‘William Evans Gunmakers’ especially for the occasion.
At home in the South East of England things will be equally as exciting this fall, as we concentrate our efforts on Fallow Buck, who’s ‘belching’ will now be a common sound around the woods, as the old masters pace their well trod ‘rutting stands’.
All things said, October is a hugely exciting month to be stalking deer and what is more, the following month is set to be pretty eventful too, as across the UK we will at last, be able to start getting to grips with the females.
Finally a word about this month’s film which is all about Sika Deer Stalking and some of the challenges associated with shooting an animal from a herd. I do hope you’ll take a look: short-films
In Season in England & Wales: Fallow Buck, Roe Buck, Muntjac, Sika Stags, Red Stags.
Off Season in England & Wales: Fallow Does, Roe Does, Sika Hinds, Red Hinds, CWD.
In/Off Seasons in Scotland: Roe Buck, Red Stags, Sika Stags, (Until 20th Oct only). Fallow Buck in season throughout October - Roe Does, Fallow Does, Sika Hinds, Red Hinds are in season from the 21st October onward.
(Peter Jones - editor)