Lowland Red Stag Stalking
- Wednesday, 06 November 2019
We hunt a huge 28 point Lowland Red Stag and look at the environmental justification for doing so.
For those that don’t hunt, it might at first seem odd that a hunter can both love and admire an animal whilst simultaneously wishing to hunt it. The reality is, that for hunters, the affection is often toward the species as a whole and not the individual. The best hunter, is therefore one who has a sound appreciation that careful and selective culling is a fundamental requirement in achieving the betterment of the overall herd.
It is a tribute to some grounds where deer have been managed and selectively culled for generations that the herd has been improved to such an extent that the deer evolve through selection into truly awesome specimens. Indeed, the reality why, in many park environments, the deer are so magnificent, is not due to the fact that they are left to live out their lives in apparent ‘Disney world’ harmony, but instead because there has been an ongoing selective and careful cull of weak animals.
The ability to see the big picture and to recognise what is good for the herd, is an essential quality of those charged with the deer management. In a recent County Deer Stalking film, we visited one such ground where this simple inescapable logic has resulted in some of the largest most impressive Stags anywhere in the world.
Deer are of course ‘prey species’ and in the UK, with its absence of apex predators the job of the deer manager is to replicate the role of the absent lynx and wolf - predators that naturally prey upon the weak. Whilst much of the cull is therefore of inferior animals, it would also be both unnatural and inhumane to allow an ageing Stag to linger and descend into a spiral of decline. Instead it is both kinder to the animal and more beneficial to the estate to shoot a beast whilst it can still provide a valuable income - an income that in turn, is used to bring along the next generation.
Given the opportunity to take one such animal on this occasion was Joe, an experienced hunter who acknowledged the rare privilege of being able to hunt one of these iconic animals. After a tricky approach a steady and confident Joe managed his nerves well in placing a shot just behind the shoulder at 175 metres.
It is larger calibres that are required for such immense beasts and on this occasion the 150 grain bullet from the Sako .308 did the job of quickly and humanely dispatching this magnificent beast on the ground where he will have spent his entire life and without the unnecessary stress of a trip to the abattoir which many domesticated livestock have to endure. This beast was then off to the larder to be enjoyed by countless consumers as a healthy, wild, sustainable and non-intensively farmed source of meat.
To watch the film, please follow this link to our short films page: short-films (Oct ’19)