Roe Rut 2013 - And We're Off!

Peter Jones witnesses conclusive evidence of the start of the 2013 Roe Rut.

Having witnessed a truly beautiful and exhilarating display of rutting behaviour yesterday evening (25th July), there can be no doubt that the Rut in Hampshire is now underway.

This spectacular evening kicked off not 200 yards into our first stalk. Also playing witness to these events was Alistair Stobie from Ealing (pictured below).

Stobie555

Having just set off from the car to skirt a large field of standing Barley things looked promising as we spotted the head of a Doe in an adjacent field.

Moving on a short way we stopped and tucked ourselves in tight at a suitable vantage point against the surrounding hedgerow. With Alistair set up on shooting sticks looking out over the field of Barley I started with just three simple ‘peep’s from the Buttalo. To our complete astonishment instantly not 25 yards away into the crop a Roe Bucks head popped up from the Barley tops.

Anxious moments passed with the buck starring straight in our direction trying to gauge from where the noise had come. Gradually he began to relax and Alistair was able to tenderly move into a shooting position from where, though slightly off balance, he executed an excellent high neck shot dropping the buck on the spot.

With the report of the rifle still ringing across the field a Doe leapt up from the crop just feet from where we had shot the Buck. Not proof of the Rut yet, but a promising sign none the less and a nice Roe Buck for Alistair.

With the ‘gralloch’ completed, carcass in the boot, and a quick coffee, the time was now fast approaching 9pm. We set off again, this time in the direction of a field of still green wheat.

Long minutes passed as I alternated between calls, before....there, a Doe, feeding at the edge of the crop. Stunning glossy red against the green back drop. Just seconds later a buck at a purposeful trot making his way up the tram line in the crop made by the tractor tyre, toward the Doe. Was he coming to my call? Or had he just sensed the Doe? Still no proof.

Then finally evidence at last as the Buck with head down and straight back began to determinedly chase the Doe. For several minutes we watched in awe at what can only be described as one of the British Countryside’s most beautiful events. Round and round in circles spanning about 30 yards and pausing only briefly to draw breath the buck continued in hot pursuit of his mate.

A lull in action a few minutes later and an opportunity to put my calling to the test! With one in the boot of the 4x4 already Alistair declared that he was happy to simply observe as I began to attempt to draw this buck away from his current partner.

‘Pheeeep’, ‘pheeeep’, ‘pheeeeep’. The bucks head went up, again more calls. Perhaps sensing a slight resistance from his current play mate in favour of my simulated Doe in heat, he suddenly came at a trot. Pausing less than 100 yards away now, would he come closer? This time more aggressive calls of distress from my Buttalo and with head down in he came before standing stock still just 50 yards out.

Careless fumbling’s with Buttalo in one hand and Camera in the other soon had him bounding off into the crop barking. None the less proof that this year’s Rut is underway. Added to which a moment to treasure for both Alistair and myself and a confidence boost sufficient to reassure me that I have not lost the ‘Knack’ of calling.   

For more information on How to Call a Roe Buck take a look at the following article:  http://www.countydeerstalking.co.uk/Blog/how-to-call-a-roe-buck.html

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