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Thread: Problem with stalking fallow

  1. #1

    Problem with stalking fallow

    I have just obtained some new stalking, I have been and walked the ground and the farmer informs me that the arable land near the woods is being hammered by deer. The slotting and run in and out of the wood would concur with his statement, also there are tracks all over the winter wheat and even some in the plough next door.
    I have erected a high seat that sits in the hedge running parallel to the wood so I can see both fields with ease. I have been up there three times now, but have not seen a deer. I have done two evening sessions and one morning, all to no avail, but still the slotting appears, I have not been up there with a lamp yet to see how and what time they are out feeding at night but I feel that might be my next option. I know the neighbours on the other side of the wood have hit them hard taking over a 100 in the last year but the well worn tracks and amount of slotting suggest a good number are still in residence or at least within the area.
    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
    Happy stalking.

  2. #2
    Hi Jon,

    I think its probably a case of putting in the hours, getting to the know the ground and how the deer move around it.....not very helpful I know. If there are plenty of fresh signs, at some stage you are going to catchup with one or two sooner or later!

    Good luck


    Last edited by thomas; 03-03-2011 at 15:11. Reason: spelling

  3. #3
    Don't forget that each deer has four sharp feet and makes a lot of tracks. I've never met a farmer with deer present on his land whos crops didn't get hammered/decimated/destroyed. The only advice that I can give is to pull out all of the stops to get a few does before the end of their season and a few bucks or buck fawns before the end of theirs otherwise you will have the farmer moaning all through the close season and end up losing the stalking to some cowboy who is willing to shoot out of season. Seen this happen several times. JC

  4. #4
    Thanks Tom and JC275, I am inclined to agree, just wanted to see if anyone had some bright ideas, the problem is I do not have permission to enter the wood so I cannot do a walking rekey to see what is laying up in there, so I am solely going on signs.
    Last edited by jon15; 03-03-2011 at 15:19.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by jon15 View Post
    Thanks Tom, I am inclined to agree, just wanted to see if anyone had some bright ideas, the problem is I do not have permission to enter the wood so I cannot do a walking rekey to see what is laying up in there, so I am solely going on signs.
    I've had lots of bright ideas where fallow are concerned, and yet they still manage to evade me! Sounds like you may have to be careful if chest shooting with your neighbours wood so close. Stick with it



  6. #6

    If they are being had hit in the area they may well have become fully nocturnal.
    The lamp sounds the ok but much better would be prepared to sit in the seat for extended periods of time prior to it getting dark (Forget the mornings, if they are nocturnal they will be back in the wood long before it gets light) especially at this time of year when they can feed all night due to the extended hours of darkness.

    So....some high discipline......No jumping up and down out of the seat to stretch the legs, no fidgeting about, no mobile calls, no dropping down for a pee etc etc. and try to make sure that you've got the wind in your favour.
    Get in the seat early and stay there until it's dark. It might improve your chances.

    I stalked fallow from high seats a little time back in Hampshire. On one occasion I got the bum in the seat at 16.00 and the animal dropped at 19.50. (3hrs 50 mins !.....boy did I have a flat arse that day !)

    My guide was very specific with regards to the deer in that locality. They too had been regularly culled over an extended period and would only come out if everything was 100% in their favour. Even then they would not show until the last 10 - 15 mins before it was too dark to safely take a shot.

    Hope it helps

    The pure and simple truth is rarely pure and never simple

  7. #7
    Cheat and buy a stealth camera!

  8. #8
    This is a problem that you often get with Fallow coming out into the open they often lay just in the wood watching and then come out when it is dark, you may also find that haviing just had the full moon will also have helped with making them more nocturnal.
    You dont mention but if your wood is North or East facing then with the weather we have been having the deer will be more inclined to come out during the night when the cold winds we are having at the moment die down but if we get some warmer weather and a bit of sun then you should be in with a better chance.
    But one thing for sure Fallow at this time of the year will make you work for them.
    Best of luck Terry

  9. #9
    I can't comment on fallow but I have some very little experience with sika which are nocturnal, due to pressure, and they are a real pain to get a shot at.

    My very limited experience is that they lie up in the wood during daylight. Often they will lurk just inside the line of the trees so they can observe what is going on out in the clear ground, but you can't see them. I also have a suspicion that the sika watch me put up a high seat and it then takes a long time before they become happy to come out onto that ground again. I'm not saying they know it is a high seat but they know something has changed and they like to watch it from a distance for a while before deciding that it is safe. It may be that your high seat will need to say for a week or two before they settle down.

    A friend assures me that my deer are feeding every 4 hours and that 1100 and 1500 will be peaks in this pattern. I must confess that the very, very few deer that I've managed to spot in daylight have all been out about 1500.

    Recently I was stalking and I covered the ground well but saw nothing. After it was too late to shoot I took a drive around with a lamp and saw not a single deer in about an hour. A friend had bought a new lamp and about 2 hours after I left he took a drive around, covering about a quarter of the ground I covered on my drive, and he counted over 50 deer in the lamp. Those deer simply did not move out of the forest until about 3 or 4 hours after dark.

    My advice, and I will again highlight that I'm far from experienced and in my struggle with the sika there is no question that the deer are way ahead, is that if the ground is suitable then don't sit in the high seat. Decide that a couple of nights are going to be "scouting" trips where you are going to try and walk/stalk into deer as best you can to see where they move and when. Take the rifle and stalk carefully but also try to cover lots of ground and just accept that you will probably bump the deer rather than get a shot. Make careful note of where you bump them and then use this info to either lie in wait or make more focused stalks to get a shot. I'm slowly coming around to this idea myself as the people I know who cover more ground tend to shoot more deer while if you sit in a high seat you only get a shot if the deer use the tiny bit of ground in front of you and you don't ever build up a real pattern of their movements as the minute you shoot one their pattern will change.

  10. #10
    They may not always be on the ground. I stalk over a piece of ground with fallow and sometimes they are there and sometimes not. The woods are full of slots, runs wallows etc but the heard has access to woodlands and field systems outside so come and go. As has been said before, sit and wait, sit and wait........ I spent 3hours in the seat last week and eventually shot a Roe Doe that walked out the woods at last light but no sight of the fallow. Just have to keep going and they will come.

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