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Thread: Info on Sika

  1. #1

    Info on Sika

    I have been getting some funny stories from the farmer where I shot about a wood near by having "big deer" in it and the FC shooting them. so after a bit of digging online via the fc maps and the bds deer distrabution maps i have found out that on the other side of the farm from where i shot roe damaging a willow plantation is a large wood with a confirmed sika population.

    now i have never even see a live sika, but if this red deer i would bet my bottom dollar that first/last light they would be in the field that borders the wood.

    my question is would they act like this?

    whats the best way to try and get into them?

    and to save any problems is the shot placement point of shoulder?

    also why are they not coming to the small wood with the willow? (only less than 1000m away)

    Andy7mm

  2. #2
    Firstly, shot placement is the same as all other deer (in proportion of course). Sika are renowned for running, so it's a good idea to have access to a good deer dog.

    They behave very much like red deer (they are very similar genetically, to the point that they can and do regularly interbreed, throwing fertile offspring) so anything that works for reds is likely to work well with Sika. They're not that different in behavior to Roe either, except for the herding thing. They are crepuscular (so yes, first and last light is the best time to catch them out and about).

    If they have a decent food source, and a good amount of shelter in the large wood, why would they risk 1000m of open ground to get to something smaller and less capable of supporting them? If the numbers in the wood are high then some will undoubtedly have a wander in search of les crowded surroundings, but if the FC guys are keeping numbers down then there may well be no reason for them to wander.

  3. #3
    Sika can be very wary if they are shot at. I've no experience of reds in lowland/woodland situations and very little experience of them on the hill so I really can't make any valid comparisons.

    Where I shoot them the last half hour of legal shooting time is the only time you'll see them out and about in most places, especially places where you might get a shot at them. However, hinds and small stags can be nosy and this can be their downfall as they will often try to work out what it is that disturbed them. Big stags just run, they don't look back or any of that stuff. However, if they can avoid it none of them will make a habit of coming onto open ground but rather will try to feed in areas within the wood or along the edge so they might only rarely come onto the fields if there is feeding in the wood.

    I also believe that they have very good eyesight, they will see you standing still in cover at 300 yards with annoying regularity and I believe one big stag spotted me at 750 yards - a friend and myself were watching him with a spotting scope when he looked straight at us (the wind was good for us) and ran back into the trees. Make of that what you will but we were convinced that he saw us and we were lying in the heather.

    I've also found that they like certain places, and dislike others, for no clear reason and they can change their mind and just vanish, they will move considerable distances overnight if they decide to go. Also at some times of they year, seemingly randomly, they can just move to somewhere else and stay for several months. This doesn't help if you are trying to work out a pattern so just because you sit and watch that forest edge for a week and see nothing doesn't mean they won't be there the following week, or every day in July or something equally random.

    In saying all of this where there is less shooting/poaching pressure than where I shoot them I've seen them out in fields in broad daylight. Recently I was on the south side of Loch Ness and was completely stunned to see them stand around in fields in daylight and not run if you stopped the car for a look. So, I think the level of shooting pressure is a very significant driver of their behaviour.

    A positive note is that sika seem to be able to thrive even under significant shooting/poaching pressure. Here in Ireland roe wouldn't last 15 minutes if they were to be introduced again and reds just about manage to hang on in many areas whereas sika do well and are expanding their range and numbers. So even if the FC think they are hitting them hard it is likely the population is increasing and that the deer will move out to other areas. They will be very careful deer but in your position I'd be hopeful that they are around on your ground for at least short periods each year and, more likely, they are there all the time but the numbers are low and you just haven't seen one yet.
    For self catering accommodation on the Isle of Lewis please visit:
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  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by matt_hooks View Post
    Firstly, shot placement is the same as all other deer (in proportion of course). Sika are renowned for running, so it's a good idea to have access to a good deer dog.

    They behave very much like red deer (they are very similar genetically, to the point that they can and do regularly interbreed, throwing fertile offspring) so anything that works for reds is likely to work well with Sika. They're not that different in behavior to Roe either, except for the herding thing. They are crepuscular (so yes, first and last light is the best time to catch them out and about).

    If they have a decent food source, and a good amount of shelter in the large wood, why would they risk 1000m of open ground to get to something smaller and less capable of supporting them? If the numbers in the wood are high then some will undoubtedly have a wander in search of les crowded surroundings, but if the FC guys are keeping numbers down then there may well be no reason for them to wander.
    I disagree with your point about them being similar to reds in behavior. Reds are much easier to stalk than sika especially if the sika have been hit hard.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by caorach View Post
    Sika can be very wary if they are shot at. I've no experience of reds in lowland/woodland situations and very little experience of them on the hill so I really can't make any valid comparisons.

    Where I shoot them the last half hour of legal shooting time is the only time you'll see them out and about in most places, especially places where you might get a shot at them. However, hinds and small stags can be nosy and this can be their downfall as they will often try to work out what it is that disturbed them. Big stags just run, they don't look back or any of that stuff. However, if they can avoid it none of them will make a habit of coming onto open ground but rather will try to feed in areas within the wood or along the edge so they might only rarely come onto the fields if there is feeding in the wood.

    I also believe that they have very good eyesight, they will see you standing still in cover at 300 yards with annoying regularity and I believe one big stag spotted me at 750 yards - a friend and myself were watching him with a spotting scope when he looked straight at us (the wind was good for us) and ran back into the trees. Make of that what you will but we were convinced that he saw us and we were lying in the heather.

    I've also found that they like certain places, and dislike others, for no clear reason and they can change their mind and just vanish, they will move considerable distances overnight if they decide to go. Also at some times of they year, seemingly randomly, they can just move to somewhere else and stay for several months. This doesn't help if you are trying to work out a pattern so just because you sit and watch that forest edge for a week and see nothing doesn't mean they won't be there the following week, or every day in July or something equally random.

    In saying all of this where there is less shooting/poaching pressure than where I shoot them I've seen them out in fields in broad daylight. Recently I was on the south side of Loch Ness and was completely stunned to see them stand around in fields in daylight and not run if you stopped the car for a look. So, I think the level of shooting pressure is a very significant driver of their behaviour.

    A positive note is that sika seem to be able to thrive even under significant shooting/poaching pressure. Here in Ireland roe wouldn't last 15 minutes if they were to be introduced again and reds just about manage to hang on in many areas whereas sika do well and are expanding their range and numbers. So even if the FC think they are hitting them hard it is likely the population is increasing and that the deer will move out to other areas. They will be very careful deer but in your position I'd be hopeful that they are around on your ground for at least short periods each year and, more likely, they are there all the time but the numbers are low and you just haven't seen one yet.
    Great post.

  6. #6
    Hi Andy, I notice your from Lanarkshire .. I have the lease on a bit of ground in South Lanarkshire..Although no Sika have been shot on it, a staggy was seen by a syndicate member at first light ..And whistling heard by another . ..My understanding was no sika were in the area ...there definitely are a few as one was shot very close to my ground last back end.

  7. #7
    I would also agree that Sika are not like reds in habit. In fact they are a law unto themselves and trying to second guess them often does not work, especially with regards to weather and where you would expect them to be.

    I would concede if they are established that they may favour a particular crossing point over a fence or ditch so walking round the ground may show signs of larger slots where they are landing after jumping an obstacle.

    I would suggest that you try and find such sign to indicate where they have at least been, then spend a few early mornings or late evenings just sitting, watching and waiting. They are often easier got letting them appear in front of you than trying to chase them about the ground.

    If you haven't any experience with them, don't be surprised if they run a ridiculous distance after being hit in the chest. If you are certain the shot was on and everything else points to a good strike, just watch for them running and falling as stalkers inexperienced With Sika have a sudden desire to start lacing shots into them as they are running off thinking they have put the bullet somewhere that is less than perfect. I have had spikers make 200m with no heart and having been hit with a 308. It happens.

    As mentioned you should have access to a dog regardless of species but if you don't and you lose one give me a shout and I will bring the dog if at all possible.

    in a couple of months you may even hear a whistle...
    Last edited by jamross65; 23-07-2013 at 14:37.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by jamross65 View Post
    I have had spiders make 200m with no heart and having been hit with a 308. It happens.

    ...
    WOW! I ain't going NEAR your ground!!!

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by PKL View Post
    WOW! I ain't going NEAR your ground!!!
    Ha ha, amended to show 'spikers'!!! Thanks for the heads up.

  10. #10
    Thanks for all in info and the PMs.

    the shot i was thinking of was talked about before

    https://www.thestalkingdirectory.co.uk/showthread.php/64305-shot-placement?highlight=shot+placement.

    i have in past by accident shot stags in the front leg, tried a H/L shot and pulled in forward/back so in line with a H/L shot but throught both front legs result was beast stone dead and never moved.

    Cadex the ground is in Fife.

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