June - Deer Stalkers Almanac
- Wednesday, 27 May 2015
June- and the soporific, lazy summer days seemingly stretch through to the following dawn, as daylight hours reach their peak, the mercury soars and it is all I can do not to simply recommend that you take a holiday.
(Above: During the rut Roe Buck will often come in face on and so June is an important month in which to get in some practice)
The only deer in season are the Roe Buck and the Muntjac and even they can’t really be bothered! Having cast his antlers the Muntjac is too busy changing into his summer wardrobe and the Roe Buck is simply lounging about in thick cover piling on the pounds ready for the rut.
What to do with yourself? Well if you’ve not got your summer holiday booked and can’t resist stepping out with your rifle, my advice would be this; ‘it’s a great month in which to get some practice’.
Come July you will be pleased for it. Some stalkers wait all year for the Roe Rut, or a chance to get on the Red Stags in Scotland, as such their rifles sit idle in the cabinet. The unsurprising result is, there are pulled shots and missed opportunities when the beasts finally present themselves.
You would be amazed just how many Deer are missed. Last year we had one Roe buck missed twice by two separate clients before we collared him on the third attempt. The fact that he was shot at all is therefore testament to his youthful naivety in repeatedly coming to the call.
In mitigation, most bucks coming to the call will do so ‘face on’ and in long grass or standing crops. Therefore the shot that presents itself is usually the high neck shot, a point of aim that represents a significantly smaller target area than the more usual, and much more successful, heart/lung broadside shot.
Practice is the answer and through repetition motor skills are consolidated into muscle memory. The result is that tasks can be performed with a minimum of conscious effort. This is hugely beneficial when you are already concentrating on your calling and the beast that is bounding in toward you.
The type of movements that you practice will of course depend on your style of stalking and the topography over which you do it. However, practicing the procedure of taking the rifle off your shoulder positioning it on the rest, taking the safety off and firing, will surely assist you in becoming more efficient when the time comes to act. At County Deer Stalking this is something which we try to drum into our beginners and it is invariably time well spent.
On to this month’s film in which we discuss the top rifle calibres for deer. We enlist the help of Freddie Nesbitt of William Evan’s fame to talk calibres with us. What Freddie doesn’t know about calibres isn’t worth knowing. The film could in fact have all too easily rivalled a Hollywood blockbuster in terms of length, however we managed to restrict him to 20 minutes, so if you are considering a new deer calibre please take a look: training-films
IN Season in England & Wales: Roe Buck, Muntjac Bucks & Muntjac Does.
OFF Season in England & Wales: Roe Does, Fallow Does, Fallow Buck, Sika Hinds, Sika Stags, Red Hinds, Red Stags, CWD Bucks & CWD Does.
IN Season in Scotland: Roe Buck
OFF Season in Scotland: Roe Does, Fallow Does, Fallow Buck, Sika Hinds, Sika Stags, Red Hinds, Red Stags.
(Peter Jones - Editor)