Fallow Buck Hunting in the UK - When Is The Best Time To Go?
- Tuesday, 13 October 2020
In the UK the finest month of the year to be hunting Fallow Buck is October and there are few better ways to enjoy it, than by joining the Capreolus Club during one of its many overnight trips to the New Forest.
When asked what represents the very best of deer hunting in the UK, and I am asked this a fair amount, I reply: Red Stag in the Scottish Highlands, Roebuck calling during the summer rut and hunting Fallow Buck in the deep woods and heathland.
These hunting experiences not only encapsulate a wide range of hunting disciplines and techniques, but also encompass those deer species that are considered to be most symbolic of the UK countryside.
Red and Roe are the only truly native species. However, having been introduced over 1000 years ago, Fallow deer (Dama dama), are now equally embedded in UK culture. The finest month to be hunting these magnificent beasts is during October, during which the first cold snap usually brings on the marvellous spectacle that is the Fallow rut.
Deep rhythmic ‘belching’ and ‘groaning’ can be herd reverberating around the woods as bucks, sometimes achieving as much as 100kg on the hoof, pace and patrol their closely guarded rutting stands.
Intoxicated and distracted by the rut, the ‘Master Bucks' or ‘Great Bucks’ as they are called, along with numerous, lesser satellite animals including ‘sorrels’, ‘Sores’, ‘Bare Bucks’, ‘Pricket’s’ and Does, afford the hunter a rare opportunity, not just to witness the clash of antlers, but encroach, unnoticed into the testosterone fuelled melee that surrounds such locations.
Proclaimed as a Royal Hunting Forest by William the Conqueror, the New forest is one of the best places to witness the Fallow rut. Remaining one of the largest tracts of unenclosed heathland in Southern England and covering southwest Hampshire and Southeast Wiltshire, it represents a sizeable and abundant breeding ground, which produces both large and plentiful animals.
Above: Members of the Capreolus Club getting ready to head out.
Anyone that witnesses such an abundance of animals will be in no doubt about the need to control them, because without sufficient shooting, the population grows by 30% each year and exponentially thereafter, causing horrendous damage to the biodivesity of this ancient forest.
Doing their bit and participating in the management process again this year was the Capreolus Club, who, with foreign travel limited by the dreaded virus, have arranged no fewer than four separate member trips this autumn to these splendid woodlands.
If you’d like to see how club members faired? Then look out for County Deer Stalking’s next short film, which is coming soon and captures some of the excitement of one of the autumn trips.
To read more about Fallow Buck terminology and the difference between a ‘Sorrel Buck’, ‘Great Buck’, and ‘Sore’ follow this link: deer-stalking/fallow-buck
To read more about previous outings to the New Forest, follow this link: fallow-deer-culling-in-the-new-forest
Or alternatively to get involved with the Capreolus Club why not apply now for membership: capreolusclub.co.uk/apply-now