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Thread: How long would you leave it?

  1. #1

    How long would you leave it?

    Hi Guys,
    I am fairly new to deer and quite keen, going out with my rifle on average maybe one morning in 10 but I only have two 5 acres pieces of woodland to shoot over. I am looking for advice as to how long you would leave it before going hunting again if you were in my situation, having overdone it a bit of late.

    I have been unlucky on one piece of land for a while now and so I have had a good tinker there, taking a high seat away and putting another one in a different place. In the last two weeks, I have visited once to hunt but only achieved getting barked at by a Muntjac and then I have been twice to tinker.

    The other piece has been more productive. In the last two weeks I have visited twice and shot three Roe does, two on the same spot of the same trail.

    Both pieces of land are quite awkward when it comes to finding safe shots and so my activity is concentrated within certain areas. The pieces of land are within half a mile of each other and are part of the same "deer corridor" running between attractive feeding areas, other woodland and a nature reserve. I have a camera in each wood and I often see the same animals on both cameras.

    I am new to the hobby and keen. I have never shot a Muntjac buck and there have been both a big one and a small one in both my cameras for the last two weeks. But I have really been and stirred everything up now trying to get either but settling for the Roe when they appeared. I don't want to spoil things. For how long would you recommend that I restrain myself before going out again with a rifle? Which parcel of woodland would you then go back to first? -The one where they seem to have been rumbling you but where you have tinkered or the one which you have recently made smell of death?



  2. #2
    just alternate if possible and change your times if poss but it sounds to me like your doing ok without much help,enjoy atb doug.

  3. #3
    Most deer down south (of Scotland) are probably disturbed most days by walkers, farmers, etc. I wouldn't think that stalking the forest at the frequency you suggest would be a problem. I have frequently stalked the same piece of land on consecutive days, shot something and then gave it a break for a while (week or two). I think that it does also depend on how disruptive you are when you are there. I am sure like me there are lots of people on here who have shot something in one field and shot something in the next field shortly after (on the same stalk). I have also neck shot roe deer out of a group, the deer drops on the spot and the others continue on as if nothing happened. I wouldn't get too hung up about frequency of visiting as long as you aren't there every day. If you go regularly and don't see anything it might be time to give it a longer break.
    Just an opinion and like arseholes we all have one.

  4. #4
    Go as often as you want, and enjoy your time, even if you don,t get a shot, practice your stalking with squirrels with your .22, if deer are there they will avoid you.

  5. #5
    Don't rush down from the seat if you shoot one that's accompanied let the others leave is a good tactic I use

  6. #6
    Thanks for the replies guys. So it seems that the general thought seems to be that I don't have to wait ages. Will I now be able to resist going back next weekend?



  7. #7
    If your worried about overshooting but still want to stalk....leave rifle take a camera or camcorder practice that way ...still learn by watching the beasts ....or as said ...take .22 & practice on rabbits ....then still make damn fine burgers


  8. #8
    If your ground is part of the 'wildlife corridor' you describe than you should look at the deer population on the wider landscape basis, and not just at the population on your two small patches. As long as you see sufficient deer coming through you can continue to cull. A good benchmark would be to expect 1 cull every 4 outings (on average) , as long as you continue to achieve that you have nothing to worry about.
    Secondly you do not mention what the landowner wants. Does he want all the deer shot? Does he wants just a joint of venison occasionally? The landowner's wishes are the most important consideration.
    I share a 60-acres woodland with one other stalker and it continuous to produce some 20 culls p.a. (50/50 Roe and Muntjac). Another patch I stalk -and share with another stalker- of a 290 Acres farm that includes a 60 Acres woodland also continues to produce 18-20 culls p.a (Roe and Muntjac) - bizarrely most of that on the open farm pasture rather than in the woodland.
    Other land that I stalk and that actually looks much more promising is not half as productive.
    I am relatively inexperienced and only in my 5th. year of stalking - but area's I shoot 'to heavily' according to stalking friends continue to produce good numbers.
    So it all depends...landscape, habitat, neighbouring stalking pressure...and your own skills/success rate of course.

    Just enjoy it, don't worry too much about taking too many, and take your chances when presented to you.
    • Do not be seduced by the marketing-men....

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by SussexFallow View Post
    Don't rush down from the seat if you shoot one that's accompanied let the others leave is a good tactic I use
    That sounds very logical advice. Noises could come from anywhere, but your sight might be associated with a dangerous situation/place.

  10. #10
    Thanks for the tip about one in 4 outings. I will remember it. I am very grateful to anyone who is kind enough to share his experience with me.

    At the moment the two owners have a similar desire to have less deer in order to see natural regeneration and some of their own planting establish -"Shoot as many as you can, give us half when we have freezer space". One owner would also like to have an outing with my rifle next Roe rut. At some stage I expect their desires will diverge and I had better watch out to spot when.

    Some regeneration could be seen to have started after I had shot 6 between mid May and the start of September. "Looks like you have cracked it" they said. I said "I am not sure, I think there is just no longer the requirement for Roe bucks to hold territory and the does can now easily take their more mature young to the fields where the harvest is in the hedgerows, we will have to see come Novemeber." The cameras were fairly quiet, the odd Muntjac (nearly all doe sightings for whatever reason), the odd Roe doe and kids, no Roe buck at all, even though I had seen at least two individuals I did not shoot (A very fine one and a scruffy little fellow neither of whom I met in person but who had appeared in my cameras). I slacked off a bit. Then pretty much bang on time the Roe all came back in early November, more Muntjac sightings too. I presume there is less cover in the fields and so the wood is now a useful corridor/ ruminating spot again?

    I don't have a cull plan yet. Unless anyone would like to suggest a better plan, I am thinking to take whatever comes my way for 12 months, note the degree of regeneration achieved by the start of next years' growing season which is not badly matched to my starting off in May, and then suggest a cull for next year. Unless anything very evident shouts itself, I will probably aim to match this year's cull number with similar number targets for males and females, bearing in mind the suggestion of one kill for 4 outings and noting whether I still am still seeing the same levels of animals in my cameras as before (the memory cards are big and will keep several years' data I think). I will also spare the best buck seen about in each wood next season at least until the frenzied free for all stage of the rut (by which time I assume most does are pregnant and just enjoying making sure of it), so as to reduce my landlords' fraying damage.

    Last year the ticks were pretty busy in Summer. I was getting 6 or so every outing while trying to avoid brushing anything. I am wondering if the amount of ticks I get can also be used as an indicator of over population?

    When it comes to rushing in after the shot, so far so good. I have given it at least ten minutes by my watch (though it was surely hard at first to believe time could pass so slowly) and then have a good look around before going forward -except for once when my 8 year old daughter was with me. I don't think she could have stayed even half quiet more than the 5 minutes I insisted on.



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