Deer Stalking Scotland
Deer Stalking in Scotland - Perhaps more than anywhere else in the British Isles it is in Scotland where Deer Stalking truly finds its home.
Stalking in Scotland forms a large part of the rural culture and tradition whilst playing an important part in the land management policy. Providing hundreds of jobs and serving to protect many native plants and species it also plays a crucial role in the overall rural economy.
(Above: Stalking Deer in Scotland can be highly challenging and a good level of fitness is required)
Whilst figures differ Scotland is thought to be home to between 500,000 and 1000,000 deer of which the majority are the native and iconic Red Deer. Scotland does however also host a good population of Roe Deer and Sika Deer along with an increasing population of Red/Sika hybrids.
Stalking deer in Scotland for many is not simply about the kill but is a means of witnessing the truly stunning scenery that is on offer, and for many these images alone are sufficient for Scotland to be a huge draw to Deer stalkers and Deer hunters from around the world.
Scottish Deer Stalking legislation differs from that of England & Wales. For roe deer bullets must weigh at least 50 grains and have a minimum muzzle velocity of 2,450 feet per second and muzzle energy of 1,000 foot pounds of energy.
(Above: Shots in the highlands are often taken at longer ranges than are typical in Woodland Stalking)
For other deer species the bullet must weigh at least 100 grains and have a minimum muzzle velocity of 2,450 feet per second and muzzle energy of 1,750 foot pounds.
If you intend to use your own rifle it is advisable before stalking to give some thought to your chosen calibre. Deer Stalking on 'the hill' in Scotland is often carried out over open exposed ground and therefore shots are often taken at longer ranges than those typically taken by lowland stalkers. Added to this Red Deer are a sizeable quarry and in the Rut Stags pumped with adrenalin can take some 'grassing'.
(Above/Right: The Garron assists the deer stalker to extract beasts off the hill)
As such, calibres which can deliver plenty of energy at long ranges, whilst possessing a flat trajectory, are the order of the day. Indeed it is calibres such as the .270 Winchester which have been most traditionally used. However other popular calibres used in the Highlands are also the .308 Winchester, .243 Winchester and .30.06 Springfield.
(Left: The Iconic Red Stag - a true symbol of Scotland and the main quarry for many Stalkers heading to Scotland)
Seasons also vary in Scotland to those in England & Wales, the open seasons for deer stalking in Scotland are as follow:
Deer Stalking Open Seasons in Scotland
Red & Sika Stags - 1st July - 20th October
Red & Sika Hinds - 21st October - 15th February
Roe Buck - 1st April - 20th October
Roe Does - 21st October - 31st March
If you are considering a visit bear in mind that Deer Stalking in Scotland requires a good level of fitness as the terrain can be tough and unforgiving. Today many estate's use all terrain vehicles to assist them, and on others, traditional highland ponies called 'Garrons' are still used to help bring the beast down from the hill. However you can still be in for some long treks and changeable weather conditions so be prepared.
One thing is for sure whatever the beast you intend to stalk, Hunting Deer in Scotland will undoubtedly provide you with some long lasting and treasured memories.
To read about a recent trip we took to stalk deer at the famous Atholl Estate in Scotland follow this link: deer-stalking-at-the-atholl-estate-scotland
For more information about Deer Stalking Outings in Scotland please contact us. Or for Deer Stalking Outings eslewhere in the UK then please follow this link to 'Book an Outing': outings-uk