January - Almanac for Deer Stalkers
- Tuesday, 22 December 2015
Peter Jones considers the month ahead in light of the numerous storms that have ravaged much of the country.
(Above: A rare break in the clouds during an otherwise windy and wet winter)
Once the Christmas holidays have passed many of us may find that we are a pound or two heavier, not so for the deer, whose weight and condition begin to deteriorate as winter sets in.
This is more evident in Scotland where the deer, who have taken a battering from the numerous storms that have ravaged the country, are pressured into descending to the lower ground , not just for improved grazing, but also in order gain some respite from the high winds and driving rain.
The migration of the deer from high to low ground can of course have its benefits for the professional stalker, who is able to carry out much of the hind cull without the associated climb. However, tragically in Scotland, especially on the west coast, early reports indicate that the deer are weathering poorly in what has been a warm, but miserably wet and windy, start to the winter. It will therefore prove to be a source of much debate amongst deer managers over the coming weeks, whether to press on with the proposed cull, or lay off in anticipation of a high death toll from natural mortality.
On the low ground in the south, which escaped much of the worst of storm Abigail and Desmond, the going has been much easier. With a mild, warm start to the winter the deer have been able to remain in the woods, where there has remained ample browse late into the season.
How these things will affect antler quality in the coming months? We will have to wait and see. However what is sure is that with the latter part of the winter there will come tougher times and as a result the deer will undoubtedly be encouraged out into the open fields as the year progresses. Of course during January much of the grazing will be carried out at night and so the stalker must spend his time wisely during the few precious hours of daylight.
On to this month’s film, which we are especially proud of.
Last month I spoke of my impending trip to Norfolk in search of Chinese Water Deer. Well I am delighted to say that we have some superb footage of this charming little deer. Not only this, but we also enlist the expertise of CIC Trophy Measurer Chris Rogers, who reveals some of the criteria involved in measuring CWD trophies. Our thanks go to Chris Rogers from the Euston Estate for his assistance in creating what we consider to be one of our best films to date.
To view the film simply visit our Stalking Films page.
IN Season in England & Wales: Roe Does, Fallow Does & Fallow Buck, Sika Stags & Sika Hinds, Red Stags & Red Hinds, CWD Bucks & CWD Does, Muntjac Buck & Muntjac Does.
OFF Season in England & Wales: Roe Buck.
In Season in Scotland: Fallow Buck, Fallow Does, Roe Does, Sika Hinds, Red Hinds.
Off Season in Scotland: Red Stags, Sika Stags & Roe Buck
(Peter Jones - Editor)