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Thread: Why am I not seeing deer?

  1. #1

    Why am I not seeing deer?

    This is something that has been a puzzle to me for quite some time. I have a little bit of stalking and some areas of the ground are covered in deer sign - you literally can't put your foot down without finding slots, droppings, hair etc. In general I've never seen a deer in these areas. Other areas seem relatively devoid of any sort of deer sign and it is in these areas that I see, and shoot, my deer.

    This just doesn't make sense to me and I wondered if anyone else had any thoughts or ideas? The deer are sika by the way, so they are quite secretive.

  2. #2
    Me and you both bud! Have you looked on the ground after dark to see if they are moving then ? I haven't seen much fallow as all my fields are full of wheat. Not interested in that at present. Are the sika the same is the ground attractive nutritionally this time of year ?

    Atb Steve

  3. #3
    Its quite interesting mate isn't it...............On one of my stalking grounds I have the same problem.................The area is a private forest with very little disturbance and has a high deer density...........the ground is churned up with slot marks, deer paths and crap covers every square yard, however very few deer are ever seen during daylight hours. For reasons which escape me the roe and red all appear to be feeding during the cover of darkness. I share your frustrations !!!

  4. #4
    Is this Scotland where you have ground or west country? Is it a forestry block surrounded by other blocks or fields or open hill ? Pm me if you like.

  5. #5
    Try going out one night with a lamp to see if they are there. It could be that they are coming in from elsewhere under the cover of darkness.

  6. #6
    Most of the areas I'm talking about are rides or clearings in commercial forestry in Ireland, the ground is quite boggy and acid and often the vegetation is heather rather than grass though there are some areas of grass.

    The sika are sneaky little chaps at the best of times and even more so here where poaching is rife and so I'm well used to them not appearing in daylight but even after dark I haven't seen any deer on the areas with lots of slots and droppings, I have put the lamp over the ground as well. Now, there are loads of deer in the general area and I'm seeing and shooting them elsewhere, sometimes just a short distance away, but I'm really curious as to why I never see them in the places where they appear to spend most of their time.

  7. #7
    They must be just crossing this area and not stopping to feed. Would narrow your chance of seeing them in a lamp is say. Why not try a movement camera .

    Atb Steve

  8. #8
    Sika do not put up with much in the way of pressure, especially if they are being lamped/poached. They will become completely nocturnal.

    In Scotland they are far more cunning than in the other area I have in dorset. I have found over the past 25 years of stalking them that just because you see lots of sign dosnt mean they are particularly in that immediate area. They will lay up in the really dark stuff where they know they are safe, and will only move on the last few minutes of light. But if they are poached or shot heavily they will dissapear in a heart beat and will be slow to come back out when there is enought light to see.

    The rut is always the best time, they drop their guard slightly- not much, but enough to give you an advantage using a call. Acme predator call, or a screree elk call will at times produce a result with the stags.

    As a rule they are never easy deer, and are a challenge.

  9. #9
    I've spotted a few yearling does around, but NO bucks or older does...nowhere to be seen. I'm guessing the older does are lying up getting ready to deliver their fawns soon, or taking it easy in deeper cover.

    I'd hope to see the older bucks start chasing the younger one's around soon, and the younger bucks start to fray in the next week or two as well.

    I was getting all concerned too, but having a better think about things, I believe the next couple of weeks should start showing bucks on my grounds.

  10. #10
    saw a massive pregnant doe last night plenty of roe and muntjack about at the moment, saw a single fallow last night but on the whole they are prooving rather elusive.


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