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Thread: All about SIKA

  1. #1

    All about SIKA

    I have been stalking sika for several years now , but only hinds in the winter months,recently i have been lucky enough to get out on a property with what should have a healthy head of sika, i am seeing plenty of sign ie wallows, fraying, bowl scoring,shxt and tracks, but all OLD...

    So whats going on at this time of year that there is so little Fresh sign....

    Are wallows only used during the rut.... are these wallows used by more than one deer or do stags use more than one...as

    Do stags PEEP a warning the same as hinds...as i glassed a stag late in the evening and stalked the area the following morning but bumped an unseen deer that went off peeping , so not sure if it was said stag...

    What leads stags to bowl score... is it similar to fraying...is it probable that say 15 trees had been scored in a small area that it has been done by the same stag..

    Thanks for any answers in advance, sorry that i have asked so many questions and not a Q mark in sight, its Knacked

  2. #2
    Hi Nell

    Different ground or areas should attract sika at different times of the year for different reasons. Whether for food shelter, breeding or just to away from the flies.

    As for scoring and wallows, I have seen different stags mark the same trees and use the same wallow. I think Sika stags are a bit of all species in their habit. Some hang about in the same area, a bit like fallow bucks and cover hinds that pass through, while I have seen others in areas never seen before so are obviously moving about a fair bit in their search fir hinds. I would have thought that if the ground you are on about was out of the trees and high up, July and into august would have been a good time to see them there. I was seeing good groups of stags up until about 2 weeks ago but as soon as the velvet starts to come off they tend to split up.

    If the beast you heard was running off and sounding as you described my money would be on a hind if it was to seen.

    A lt harder to seethe signs in the long grass as well just now.

    You not seen any flattened areas where they have been bedding down?
    Last edited by jamross65; 24-08-2012 at 18:07.

  3. #3
    october is pretty close, just you wait for the noise!

  4. #4
    I agree with what jamross53 says. I will add that sika movement, certainly to me, can be a total mystery. I have some ground and if I took you onto it in December you would be convinced it was crawling with deer and ideal for them to winter in but in truth the sika, hinds and stags, depart the first week in November and don't return until the first week in March and all the tracks and paths would, when you looked at it, not have seen any sika passing for over a month. I can shoot almost one deer per outing on this ground in March but in the winter months there are so few left that it takes maybe 20 outings per deer shot.

    I also have a small area where the stags arrive like clockwork in the first week of September. Then they usually slowly move out after the rut and then smaller stags move in at the end of January again for some reason. The hinds always stay on this ground, though there is some movement with the hinds over time with more of them around during the rut.

    So, if there is lots of sign but it is old then I would be confident that they use the ground at some time during the year and it is a matter of finding when this is. It may only be for a short period and you may find that it is not worth the effort stalking it at other times no matter how ideal it looks for holding the deer. A lot of the less nutrient rich vegetation in areas favoured by sika doesn't take much traffic before it shows a good looking path that can persist for a long time - so a really good looking path doesn't actually mean that 20 deer pass along it every night and in truth it may have been created by relatively light traffic over a period of time. I've recently been playing with a trail camera and a decent one can help with these things.

    One other thing I will add, along the same lines, that I can't explain is that I shoot most of my deer in places where there tends to be less sign of deer activity! I have a few theories on this one but I don't think any of them would stand up to close examination.
    For self catering accommodation on the Isle of Lewis please visit:
    http://www.7south.co.uk/




  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by caorach View Post
    One other thing I will add, along the same lines, that I can't explain is that I shoot most of my deer in places where there tends to be less sign of deer activity! I have a few theories on this one but I don't think any of them would stand up to close examination.


    Ok I am interested and a good listener go for it

  6. #6
    Thanks guys, plenty of food for thought in your replies....
    So due to the amount of old wallows do we recon that stags frequent the area at least during the rut....
    A large area i hunted was mature sitka with a blanket of needles on the ground so would be dificult to spot any beds without walking onto them...

    Im off abroad to work next week so will miss out on all the noise during october,but my mates offered to stand in, so look forward to hearing all about it...

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by nell View Post
    Thanks guys, plenty of food for thought in your replies....
    So due to the amount of old wallows do we recon that stags frequent the area at least during the rut....
    A large area i hunted was mature sitka with a blanket of needles on the ground so would be dificult to spot any beds without walking onto them..

    Im off abroad to work next week so will miss out on all the noise during october,but my mates offered to stand in, so look forward to hearing all about it...
    as a say tony its going to be a pain for me to come and shoot your stags but some one has to do it, ave all ready booked a week of my work 8000 acres will take some looking lol

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by nell View Post
    I have been stalking sika for several years now , but only hinds in the winter months,recently i have been lucky enough to get out on a property with what should have a healthy head of sika, i am seeing plenty of sign ie wallows, fraying, bowl scoring,shxt and tracks, but all OLD...

    So whats going on at this time of year that there is so little Fresh sign....Sika are like other herd deer, they are in bachelor groups at this time of year and your ground may not be summering ground, as the hormones kick in in September the stags will spread out.

    Are wallows only used during the rut.... are these wallows used by more than one deer or do stags use more than one...as From September until November mainly, initially by more mature stags and then by small stags as the bigger ones go off the boil. Obviously in very boggy areas the 'wallows' remain all year in the peat, but are only used in the autumn, but they can also be used occasionally like reds in the spring when the deer are moulting.

    Do stags PEEP a warning the same as hinds...as i glassed a stag late in the evening and stalked the area the following morning but bumped an unseen deer that went off peeping , so not sure if it was said stag... Not really, nearly always hinds.

    What leads stags to bowl score... is it similar to fraying...is it probable that say 15 trees had been scored in a small area that it has been done by the same stag.. IMO bole scoring can me a territorial thing during the rut, but often happens later in the winter and is often a precursor to bark stripping. You obviously wouln't see any fresh bole scoring as the deer will have had no hard antler for five months....

    Thanks for any answers in advance, sorry that i have asked so many questions and not a Q mark in sight, its Knacked
    Dama

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by dlz90 View Post
    Ok I am interested and a good listener go for it

    Well, like I say the theories don't stand up to much examination but...

    The only logical conclusion is that I'm shooting them somewhere other than where they spend most of their time.

    I had been putting lots of effort into stalking the sika in areas where there is lots of sign, even putting up highseats in these areas, and the results had been pretty discouraging and for a while this was very confusing as it seems logical to stalk where there is most sign of deer, and it seems logical to expect to be successful under those circumstances. My guess is that they were probably not moving onto these areas until well after dark. Since I've been putting more effort into shooting them on their way too or from these areas I've had much more success. This means that I'm now often spending the majority of my time stalking areas with little or no sign, the exact opposite of what any sane person might expect.
    For self catering accommodation on the Isle of Lewis please visit:
    http://www.7south.co.uk/




  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by caorach View Post
    Well, like I say the theories don't stand up to much examination but...

    The only logical conclusion is that I'm shooting them somewhere other than where they spend most of their time.

    I had been putting lots of effort into stalking the sika in areas where there is lots of sign, even putting up highseats in these areas, and the results had been pretty discouraging and for a while this was very confusing as it seems logical to stalk where there is most sign of deer, and it seems logical to expect to be successful under those circumstances. My guess is that they were probably not moving onto these areas until well after dark. Since I've been putting more effort into shooting them on their way too or from these areas I've had much more success. This means that I'm now often spending the majority of my time stalking areas with little or no sign, the exact opposite of what any sane person might expect.

    This actually makes quite a lot of sense I too have waited in high seats for many unsuccessful hours in areas with a lot of signs but a no show as far as sika was concerned, having worked with a trail cam myself (seen your post on the same) for a while now this is what the camera revealed to me the cam only got night shots in these areas. And as you have already mentioned trying to intercept those deer travelling to and from these places being the best approach

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