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Thread: Most productive time of year for Roe

  1. #1

    Most productive time of year for Roe

    Over the past few months I have been out on the ground about once a fortnight. In the 7 outings I have shot just 2 Does. Today I spent a couple of hours in the high seat at first light and another 3 hours mooching about the ground on foot and in the vehicle. I covered a lot of ground and saw no deer at all. Yesterday I did an afternoon/evening, saw just 5 and shot one. The past 5 outings have been very similar, not many showing.

    I know they are there as come Feb/Mar/Apr/May they all break cover and sit in the fields. My strike rate at that time of year over the past few years has been 1 to 3 per outing, averaging about 1.5.

    My experience suggests that the most productive times of year are spring time, as above, and the couple of months post harvest, before the ploughing and drilling has been completed.

    Does anyone else find the same sort of patten?
    So much to learn and so little time left

  2. #2
    What sort of acreage/habitat? The last few seasons on the does there hasn't been much of a peak period for us. Success has more been dictated by the weather when we're on the ground.


  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by novice View Post
    What sort of acreage/habitat? The last few seasons on the does there hasn't been much of a peak period for us. Success has more been dictated by the weather when we're on the ground.

    It's a couple of thousand acres, mainly arable but with some nice conservation areas, small mature woodlands and "new" plantations from 5 to 15 years old. This autumn due to the dry weather they were able to plough and drill most of the ground very quickly after harvest. It's heavy clay so this has kept them off the fields rater than on the stubbles, but going back over my records from the past 12 years show a real pattern in success rates, with the most productive times being spring and post harvest.
    So much to learn and so little time left

  4. #4
    Apart from a doe a few weeks ago all roe have been shot within a week or so of each other for the last couple of years, all in the last week of April/first week of May.

  5. #5
    I would agree that roe are difficult to locate at this time of the year. I find that evenings are best but as the light fades quickly it is pot luck as to whether you see them or not. 95% of the land I shoot on is farm land, they just don't seem to bother coming out at this time of the year.

  6. #6
    Last outing I found half a dozen out feeding at 10 am. Most productive time of year for does has got to be march when they are out feeding all hours to feed growing young, but who takes pleasure in shooting them at that time of year.

    Bucks, end April and into May. September and October also sees them showing well, but that may be more a function of the harvest.

  7. #7
    So I see most bucks mid April till June and most does in March, but I shoot a lot during November when they do a lot of moving around changing locations, I also see more dead on the roads in November December.

  8. #8
    All I can say is that nothing is predictable. Weather, season, wind direction, position of the moon and stars, nothing ever adds up if you believe the myths created by 'knowledge' and 'experience'. The only guaranteed route to success is to be out on your land on a regular basis. Keep some simple records and over time a pattern develops. A Group of 8 guys in our DMG average some 9-10 hours per stalker to shoot one deer, a 'stalk' typically being 2.5-3 hours, so the success rate is about 1 deer every 3-4 outings per stalker. These are averages: One site (4 stalkers) achieving slightly better results than another site (4 stalkers). I have once had a period of 20 (twenty) successive unsuccessful stalks, and I know of other people (experienced stalkers) with a similar shocking record. However in the last 14 days I have been out 5 times and shot 8 deer and struggled to process the venison and clear the larder before the next outing. You just never know...
    • Do not be seduced by the marketing-men....

  9. #9
    We had a week on our ground last week (high forest) and in that time we saw three deer between the two of us. Two stags and a scrawny juvenile roe. We were there before first light and left in utter darkness. Typically we see red in late afternoon rather than at that dusk moment but this time, not a thing.

    As we passed Stirling one lunchtime whilst going for supplies, there were 8 roe standing in group in a field at the side of the A9.

    Go figure.

  10. #10
    Deer have 3 basic requirements in life:
    1. Food
    2. Shelter
    3. Security
    They (Roe) are predominantly a browsing species, although they are partial to crops and will graze, especially on cereal crops.
    They are quite happy to leave the cover of the woodlands during the times you suggest are best for these very reasons, ie, there is a good and suitable supply of food, the cover is relatively high giving them security and protection from the weather. The weather is also generally much warmer too.
    Compare that to this time of year around here:
    The fields are relatively bare other than very thin coverings of winter cereal or rape which is poisonous to them if they eat too much. The hedgerows are bare, and other than game crops and feeders, there is very little of interest to them outside of the wood. Couple that with the fact that there is no cover/security and it is now getting cold. Why would they choose to leave the thick cover at this time of year?

    If you want to connect with deer at this time of year, then you need to think like a deer!
    The sheltered side of a woodland with thickest cover will be where they are. High seats covering such areas that you can slip into undetected with some visual shoot lanes can be very productive at this time of year as the deer are effectively condensed into smaller areas. You just need to see them before they see you!
    Last edited by Monkey Spanker; 13-12-2016 at 09:23.

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