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Thread: Park Culling

  1. #1

    Park Culling

    I have just recieved an email confirming that I have the secured the lease for culling in a large Park in the South East.

    Now I was going to buy a new rifle if I got this permission the question is what to get.

    When I did my DSC1 last year the instructor was using an RPA .243 and recommended using ballistic tips.

    I liked the RPA but am not sure about the .243 being up to shooting some of the big stags and bucks that eed to come out.

    You collective advice would be welcomed


  2. #2

    If you are intending head shooting, then the flat trajectory of the .243 will be an advantage and well suited to the shorter ranges encountered in the majority of park culls. Point and shoot from suitable rested position.

    If body shooting well fed and large framed stags and bucks, then I would tend to share your concerns and go for a larger calibre. A 150gn+ 30 cal will offer sufficient penetration and energy transfer to meet your needs here in the UK.

    With suitable bullets, the same rifle is good for 99% of species world-wide. Maybe a valid consideration if there is a chance of you travelling to hunt abroad - or gaining access to Wild Boar hereabouts.

    Rgds Ian

  3. #3
    Ian thanks,

    A couple of follow on questions

    What are the typical distances that head shots are taken at in a park.

    Why does appear to be bad form to body shot in a park?

  4. #4

    I must say this is the first time ever that I have heard of anyone securing a lease to cull park deer. Perhaps some of the other long time stalkers posting might have heard of such an occurrence.

    Culling park deer is not as some might believe particularly enjoyable or taxing. Even in a large park. Most park deer culls are selective processes (especially if it entails any of our larger species) requiring the selected beast to be accurately head shot, in order to reduce stress in the unselected deer and to maximise carcase yield.

    A .243 using hunting as opposed to varmint shooting designed BT heads would fit the requirements pretty well.

  5. #5

    As per T2 above, leasing the right to cull park deer is unusual.

    I have normally shot at distances of less than 120m - it very much depends on your preferred cull technique/cull numbers.

    Do you expect to be shooting from a vehicle - or stalking / moving deer past high seats to meet your cull?

    Due to confined area, some of the concerns relating to head shooting are reduced, however, herding species will tend to band up if a threat is perceived - often a head shot may be the only opportunity presented by an alert herd.

    If you are not financially penalised for body shooting - then a body shot is always the most certain option, and the one you should employ if not 100% confident of your ability or zero.

    Rgds Ian

  6. #6
    Wasn`t this what skycops was about? Stalkers legitimately culling park deer?

  7. #7

    Park Deer

    I think you will find when you get down to it that they will insist on head shot animals for the reasons Tee2 gives above. If that is the case, accuracy is probably more of an issue than calibre and one of the flatter shooting smaller rounds such as .243, 6.5x55, or 25.06 will be better as they are all more than capable and without the drop you will get with a .308 or similar. They will probably be Fallow which have an annoying tendency to bunch up and overlap when you least need it! Beware of the fragmentation from a Ballistic tip as you may well hit more than the intended one if this happens. Elevated shooting positions will be an advantage is possible. Is it woodland or open pasture or maybe a mixture? Be carefull not to take too much on at once and stress them out. Shooting a 'lead' animal first may help to split them into smaller more manageable groups too. If you need a hand I am also in the South East!!

  8. #8
    It would be interesting to know what deer species are involved, and just how used to humans they are - as a general rule, fallow tend to be the most skittish, followed by sika. Reds are relatively laid-back. In some parks, the deer are more like semi-feral - wary of humans, but more tolerant than wild deer. What are the park conditions you will be working under - such as size, public access etc?

    If you are doing sizeable culls in a closely enclosed area, the deer tend to bunch up as soon as they know that something unpleasant is going on - and then serious accuracy is needed. For this reason a .243 can be helpful but, as others have said, not if you're going to be chest shooting large reds or similar. For these something larger - with maximum energy at the target end - might be more sensible.

    Very often, however, head shooting becomes the only option as these may be the only targets available after the first cull or two. At least within an enclosed area, you have the opportunity to put things right if you do mess up a shot - something that you probably won't get with wild deer and which is why head shooting them is not an acceptable option.

    Tee2 is right in saying that park culling is not enjoyable, but it can be hard work and demand very high standards of marksmanship. And don't forget the challenges of being in the public eye if the park isn't private!

  9. #9

    Re: Park Deer

    Quote Originally Posted by Monkey Spanker
    Beware of the fragmentation from a Ballistic tip as you may well hit more than the intended one if this happens.
    Surely it the other way around isn't it? BT's especially those Hunting designed variety will penetrate the skull and dump their energy where as les frangible bullets may well exit either partially intact or intact.

  10. #10
    Most bullets will exit with a head shot at close range and if they are not close then you shouldn't be head shooting anyway!!
    Less frangible rounds will as you say stay intact and continue on roughly the same path. Ballistic tips I find tend to migrate a bit. That said though, i have had occasions of no exit with a BT. It will be interesting to see others views on this point alone? I also suspect much will depend upon the size of the animals in question.

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