Peter Jones looks at what is in store for the month ahead.
As I sit here in my office looking out over the garden and watch as the ‘Blue tits’ peck feebly at the ice in the bird bath, I am reminded of just how tough nature can be.
A conversation with a stalker during a recent trip to the highlands revealed that in late winter last year, after the ‘Beast from the east’ deposited a late dump of snow, more than one hundred deer were lost through cold and starvation on one estate alone, it is surely only the hardy that survive.
Not even our best meteorologists will be able to accurately predict exactly what the weather will have in store between now and the first buds of spring however, by the end of the winter it will be only those deer most fit to pass on their genetic make-up that will have endured.
With that thought, I am reminded of how important it is for us to also act as nature intends and ensure that we select carefully the weak and infirm in our cull plan.
With most recreational stalking having taken place prior to Christmas, January is the time of year when professional stalkers, especially those in the highlands, can go about their business of selection in somewhat of a more considered manner.
In Scotland, deer will have left the exposed peaks of the highlands for the lower ground and in the lowlands will be taking shelter where ever they are able. If you are stalking on a cold wintery day a little thought as to where you yourself might seek shelter in such conditions will be the best approach to finding the deer, and when you get amongst them, give a little though to taking the elderly and infirm that look as though they might be pleased for a swift conclusion to their plight.
Whether you are stepping out this January or taking a break, I'd like to finish 2018 by thanking all of our readers for their continued support, and on behalf of all of the team at ‘County Deer Stalking’, take the opportunity to wish you all a very happy new year!
IN Season in England & Wales: Roe Doe, Fallow Doe & Fallow Buck, Sika Stag & Sika Hind, Red Stag & Red Hind, CWD Buck & CWD Doe, Muntjac Buck & Muntjac Doe.
OFF Season in England & Wales: Roebuck.
In Season in Scotland: Fallow Buck, Fallow Doe, Roe Doe, Sika Hind, Red Hind.
Off Season in Scotland: Red Stag, Sika Stag & Roebuck
(Peter Jones - Editor)