May 2016 - Deer Stalkers Almanac
- Thursday, 28 April 2016
The month of May is all about Roe Buck and there are few better months in which to hunt them.
Amongst Roe the disparity in activity levels between months can be huge. Get your timing wrong and you may hardly catch a glimpse of these charming little deer, however, get your timing right and it can seem as though they can be found in every field and hedgerow.
So what is it about May that causes the Roe to be so active? Well basically it boils down to territory. Think of a game of musical chairs, with the chairs representing blocks of around 10 to 50 acres of countryside, and you'll be some way to understanding what is going on.
During May the music starts and the Roe Buck begin to move. By the end of May the music will stop. Those that have failed to secure a seat will be left to roam the peripheries, and in doing so, will miss out on the party to come and the spoils that can be exploited during the rut.
Of course it is this heightened level of activity that is so good for the stalker. Otherwise fairly leisurely creatures become conspicuous by their movement. What is more, due to the aggressive tendencies of their opponents, who are challenging for position, our quarry become distracted.
For those interested in taking a trophy, it is worth pointing out that by mid to late May the mature bucks will have shed their velvet. What is more, the frantic thrashing at branches and saplings, that is required to dislodge the velvet and mark a territory, results in colouration to the antlers, a feature which is beneficial to an attractive and high scoring trophy.
Overall May is an exhilarating month in which to hunt Roe. Make the most of May, because by June the Roe Buck will seemingly dissolve back into the dense under storey where they will remain in lazy repose, gaining weight and condition ready for the opportunity to pass on their genes during the rut in late July.
On to this month’s film, in which we have a bit of fun. As well as highlighting seven useful techniques to help you improve your marksmanship, in order to demonstrate how not to flinch when taking the shot, we film my colleague James Mott in slow motion as he fires the heavy recoiling 416 Rigby. Does he flinch? You decide. Follow this link to watch the film: 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)