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Thread: roe deer stalking beginner

  1. #1

    roe deer stalking beginner

    Hi,

    I live in Portugal and there's plenty or Roe deer around my house. My beagle sometimes flushes them when out after foxes. But I have never really observed any.
    Here we dont stalk deer, and there nowhere to learn either. To tell the truth, not many people in my village even know they exist.
    I would like to learn to stalk them to be able to watch them. Anyone have advise they could offer me?
    Does rain or fog etc make a difference...

    I could just lie and wait to see them, but I really want to learn to stalk into them.

    cheers, thanks

  2. #2
    First light, get yourself to an area you see tracks, line yourself up with the wind in your face, and tread slowly through the area keeping the wind in your face, take binoculars and every few paces stop and scan the area around you. When you think you are going too slowly GO SLOWER! Drab clothing , greens browns etc and cover your hands I also wrap a scrim round the bottom half of my face and wear a hat.

  3. #3
    If you can find a copy of 'Modern Roe Stalking' by Richard Prior - or any other book on Roe deer management by him - it'll give you quite a bit of information on the subject.

  4. #4
    cheers guys,
    so its like real slow, 1-2 paces stop look sort of thing? probably why i have never seen any even when i think i was being careful and quiet.
    another question, Its very dense where I live so i think i should keep to tracks, dirt roads etc. but apart from their tracks what should i look for? I mean what sort of places should i be looking for them in?
    I will try to get that book online.
    thanks again.

  5. #5
    ileso what you need pal is for one of the more experienced site members to pop over to Portugal for a short holiday and give you a couple of lessons in the art of Roe stalking.
    I'm sure that there would be no end of eager volunteers.
    It's the calibre of the shooter that counts not the calibre of the rifle.

  6. #6
    that would be awesome except for one thing, we aren't allowed to shoot them here yet.
    Although some areas, like around my place, are densely populated based on my observation of tracks, beds, tree damage from antler rubbing, droppings and deer flushing when i'm out after other quarry. I also hear them crashing through the brush barking and whistling when i fish late into the evenings in the spring.

    In other areas they are still on the come back after over a century of having disappeared. This year was the first year they are on the national quarry list of game animals, but almost no hunting areas permit them to be hunted. ( i dont think they have a management plan yet). Its pretty silly over here, like we have plenty of woodcock but in my area they aren't on the list so we cant hunt them...
    I only know of one area they do roe stalking.

    otherwise yours would be an excellent idea. It probably still is just for the thrill of it.
    So at the moment all I want to do is learn and possibly get close enough for some good photography. By the time they permit hunting roe I hope to have at least some experience in it.

    I was thinking of visiting the UK this year to visit some friends and maybe get myself an Old english foxhound or a Kerry beagle pup ( I am an avid fox hunter). But so far its only on my wish list and not really an actual plan.
    Last edited by ileso; 15-02-2016 at 17:42.

  7. #7
    The slow & quiet with wind in your face is good. If the ground is as dence as you say roe will like to find open areas to feed as well as along the edge of the tree line. They are selective browsers and enjoy everything from grass to tree buds. I quite often find just as it's coming light they can be seen on open fields or along hedgerows they tend to make back towards dence cover as it gets lighter.
    So try around the outskirts of the woods (they tend not to mix well with sheep, but not un-heard of)
    Just get out and observe & good luck
    ILB

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by ileso View Post
    that would be awesome except for one thing, we aren't allowed to shoot them here yet.
    Although some areas, like around my place, are densely populated based on my observation of tracks, beds, tree damage from antler rubbing, droppings and deer flushing when i'm out after other quarry. I also hear them crashing through the brush barking and whistling when i fish late into the evenings in the spring.

    In other areas they are still on the come back after over a century of having disappeared. This year was the first year they are on the national quarry list of game animals, but almost no hunting areas permit them to be hunted. ( i dont think they have a management plan yet). Its pretty silly over here, like we have plenty of woodcock but in my area they aren't on the list so we cant hunt them...
    I only know of one area they do roe stalking.

    otherwise yours would be an excellent idea. It probably still is just for the thrill of it.
    So at the moment all I want to do is learn and possibly get close enough for some good photography. By the time they permit hunting roe I hope to have at least some experience in it.

    I was thinking of visiting the UK this year to visit some friends and maybe get myself an Old english foxhound or a Kerry beagle pup ( I am an avid fox hunter). But so far its only on my wish list and not really an actual plan.
    ileso - From what you are saying there sounds to be a reasonable head of deer around you so it surprises me that you are not allowed to shoot them. Can you give us a fuller indication as to why you are not allowed to shoot them i.e. Is this a government ruling/law or anything like that which forbids you shooting deer, and also if there have been any recent surveys giving any idea of the deer population in yours and other areas in Portugal?
    Please note: I'm not asking this to try to fault you or anyone else, it is just because the way that wildlife is managed in different countries interests me.



  9. #9
    ok one last thing, from the pointers you guys have given me, i would imagine the best time to get out would be before first light. Last light a bit more difficult?

    To answer FrenchieBoy's question. The roe deer has been extinct in Portugal for over a century from over hunting, deforestation and poaching. Much like the local Ibex sub-species and the Boar.
    But due to the proximity with Spain, over the last couple of decades they have been quietly spreading back. The forests have come back to once barren mountains and a lot of what was once farm land has also reverted to forest. This has created a niche for the boar which have spread like wild fire since the 80's and now the roe. But alas the portuguese ibex will never return though there have been efforts to introduce the spanish sub species.

    So the roe deer has been protected. There is very little data on density though. I know that so far they have only naturally spread in the northern part of the country down to the Douro river. There have been some efforts to re introduce below the Douro but poaching is a huge problem in some areas. The thing is its the local game management authorities that maintain the hunting ban in the populated areas. Either from lack of data, or just plain laziness. Politicians dont understand very much about anything other than politics....

    To tell the truth wildlife is not managed here so much as mismanaged. Poachers get slapped on the wrist and sent on their way... It really is quite sad. Last year alone, my hunting group and I removed roughly 300 snares meant for Boar, these of course will also catch a roe or a dog... nasty stuff. We also send GPS data to the authorities when we do find them. The big problem is I know of no one else that would do this.
    To tell the truth, its probably a good thing roe deer are banned as they would very likely disappear in a blink. Most guys out after rabbits or pigeon will shoot one if they spot it anyway... good thing they rarely do as most hunters are a rowdy noisy lot. I only see them because you also need to be very quiet to hunt foxes and boar and i know of no one else that hunts foxes.

    I think it would help gain an understanding on the species as well to learn to stalk, I understand they are territorial, so getting a rough number on the density should not be too hard if I could watch them.
    Last edited by ileso; 15-02-2016 at 20:11.

  10. #10
    ileso
    If you would like I will offer my time to come over to Portugal for a long weekend and show you how to stalk Roe , no rifle present just binoculars and I will try to teach you the art of stalking roe deer.
    It may also be an idea to set out some trail cameras to attempt to learn their habits as they may very well be quite different to here in the UK as they are under no pressure.
    www.anglocustomrifle.co.uk
    Anglo deer management and training
    Yet another 7mm 08 user ..................... if Carlsberg made calibers.........................

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