Well its nearly the end of another year, and having just returned from a successful 2 days with clients I thought I would put down a few words about my past year.
The Roe Buck season started slowly, with bad weather and a foot of snow in late March I am convinced we lost a number of young Roe to the weather, and one or two yearlings that we culled were in poor condition.
The Fallow seemed to fair well through the hard weather and I did not see any poor condition Fallow.
The Roe rut was on and off and never really got going until early August in my part of West Sussex. Long hot sultry July evenings with little rain gave the impression that the rut might be in full swing, but it was very quiet until the 6th August.
However I took 23 Roe Bucks in total with 3 being medal heads, although none are gold, unlike last years enormous buck which my Finnish friend culled with me. But I did notice a good number of quality heads on the grounds that I have, so I am hopeful of a productive 2014.
The Red and Sika rut on my lease in Scotland was hindered by rising temperatures and in late September the mercury was at 24'f We still managed to take 3 very nice Sika stags and 2 Red Stags the first week. The second week saw more action and we took a number of very good stags including a royal with 4 English clients. The SD week went well and at the end of the 3 and half week stint in the highlands we had 23 beasts.
The Fallow rut was almost over by the time I got back to West Sussex, and after an 800 mile drive and two nights at home I was back at it with overseas clients. 4 days and 5 Fallow bucks, and one missed was the result for the 4 day hunt, so I was quite pleased with the result. Moving on from this the Fallow became slightly more elusive, due I think in part to the massive acorn and sweet chestnut crop in the woods. The floor was carpeted in the stuff!!
Up to now most clients have gone away with a beast or two with Fallow and Roe, plus we have the odd Muntjac showing. This past weekend saw 4 clients, first day one Roe doe. Second day 2 Fallow, one Roe and a Fallow missed. Considering the recent weather and heavy rain and wind it was a reasonable result.
I have also taken several CWD off our areas in Bucks, and we also have two new areas totalling a further 300+ acres for CWD and Muntjac.
The diary is and has been fully booked right through to the end of February and 3 weeks are already booked for Scotland 2014.
I also have my new taxidermy workshop up and ready and have some 10 commissions already, including some African work.
Lastly I would like to thank all those that have helped me this past year, in particular Mark, Darren, Tom, Andy, Joe, Alex and John.
I am also most grateful to all my clients old and new many of whom are members of this site and have stalked with me a number of times and have now formed good friendships. Thank you to all of you, there are too many to name but I appreciate your custom.
Lastly the SD site has gone from strength to strength, and personally I am very thankful for all the support and help our membership give to the site and each other. On behalf of my colleagues John and Alex we would like to thank you all.
I am grateful for your custom and wish you all a very happy and prosperous new year, and look forward to stalking with you in 2014. I hope its an exciting and healthy year for everyone.