Deer Stalking Almanac for April
- Monday, 11 March 2013
It's all about the Bucks!
(Both male and female Roe Deer start becoming more territorial during April)
Our attention this month turns to the male of the species, the Doe/Hind season in England & Wales is now over having come to a close on the 31st March. For Chinese Water Deer the bucks are also no longer in season.
For those species of deer who's males cast their antlers over the summer, namely Fallow, Sika and Red, there is one last opportunity during the month of April for stalkers to pursue these beasts before they also enter their closed season on the 1st May.
As mentioned, for those that stalk Chinese Water Deer (CWD) both Buck and Doe are no longer in season. This is simply because distinguishing between the Doe and Buck of this species is highly problematic and so it has been deemed appropriate in the interests of avoiding orphaning a kid to legislate against the shooting of both sexes when the Doe's are likely to be with young.
With regard to Fallow Deer Stalking most stalkers will be aware how hard it is to stalk this species, yet alone with the added disadvantage of having to select the sex of the animal!
It is with no small amount of excitement therefore that this April I can report that at 'County Deer Stalking' we have taken on another parcel of land in Hampshire, which early reports seem to reveal attracts a large Fallow Buck herd. This has the potential to offer some great Fallow Buck stalking through April for those who favour hunting this species.
For those who prefer Roe Buck, April marks the very start of the season, and Roe Buck will remain in season throughout the summer months until the end of October. Whilst many Bucks will still have antlers in Velvet, these animals will soon be fraying and once the velvet is torn will be displaying antlers in 'tatters'.
For this reason many trophy hunters will not consider April to be a desirable month to shoot a good Roe Buck. This is because any revealed hard antler at this time of year will be bone white until sufficient fraying of tree bark and sap has darkened the antlers over the coming months. Indeed to encourage the shooting of Roe Buck later in the season points awarded by CIC trophy measurers are also awarded for Colour. Clever, clever!
In terms of behaviour Roe will, as April progresses, start to become more and more territorial. The family groups that can be observed during March will break up as the Roe Buck no longer tolerate younger rivals and the Roe Does push out last year's kids in preparation of the demands of the new kids soon to come.
As for Muntjac? Well as ever both sexes remain in season and April will usually be the last good month to hunt this diminutive deer before they disappear completely into the thickening cover of new spring growth.
IN Season in England & Wales: Fallow Buck, Roe Buck, Sika Stags, Red Stags, Muntjac Bucks & Muntjac Does.
Off Season in England & Wales: Roe Does, Fallow Does, Sika Hinds, Red Hinds, CWD Bucks & CWD Does.