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Thread: Travelling to Ireland Co Cork Game Dealers? Sika activity?

  1. #1

    Travelling to Ireland Co Cork Game Dealers? Sika activity?

    I am travelling to Ireland tomorrow and will hopefully catch up with some Sika on a friend of mines land, it is my first time there and might need a game dealer in the Bantry area but the Irish Golden pages only list three in the country all miles away! Does anybody know of somewhere more local or do I just go to the local butcher?
    Also I was meant to be over for the rut but dew to a cock up with my paperwork I am much later than expected. What are the Sika up to at the mo? the ground is open in the middle of coilite forestry. Will the stags be coming out of the wood feeding up post rut or will they be staying in the wood eating acorns etc?

    Any help much appreciated George

  2. #2
    I think it is nearly impossible to answer this without knowing the ground and the animals. Sometimes my sika stay in the woods all winter and sometimes they just vanish and I can't find a pattern to it so even knowing what they did last year might not give you much of a clue. Unless you know there are going to be lots of them on the ground then take any chance you get as the first one you see might be the only one.
    For self catering accommodation on the Isle of Lewis please visit:
    http://www.7south.co.uk/




  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by caorach View Post
    I think it is nearly impossible to answer this without knowing the ground and the animals. Sometimes my sika stay in the woods all winter and sometimes they just vanish and I can't find a pattern to it so even knowing what they did last year might not give you much of a clue. Unless you know there are going to be lots of them on the ground then take any chance you get as the first one you see might be the only one.
    Can't tell you if there are lots there or not the land owner is a bit vague all I know is that they are there! I guess I'll know by the trade when I get there. If all else fails I'll go fishing.

  4. #4
    Just be careful that the landowner isn't a bit vague on whether he owns the shooting rights!

    I have some areas that seem to have a lot of tracks and trails on them but that I would rarely see a deer on. On other areas with much less sign I get to see a lot of deer. The sika also move about a lot in what appears to be a totally unpredictable manner, even the hinds that I would expect to be hefted. I have a trail camera out in a "good spot" and at some times of year it can take well over 100 photos per day. Last time I checked it there was one photo in a week, and it was a fox. Given that I'm convinced that the strange movement patterns aren't just as a result of my stalking or movements.

    I'm sure you know this but sika will often not move to last light, especially where they are shot at on a regular basis. They will also stand back in the forest and watch for a long time before stepping out so they could be watching you and you need to be very careful with your movements. Despite reports I think sika have really very good eyesight. Big stags will also send the smaller stags out first and then watch to see what happens, despite this I'd shoot the first thing I saw unless you are totally sure there is a big stag on his way. If you have open fields by forestry then they might not leave the woods and come onto the fields until well after dark and if chest shot they will often run and usually make a minimum of 50 yards. This can complicate the situation somewhat, especially in the circumstances you describe.
    For self catering accommodation on the Isle of Lewis please visit:
    http://www.7south.co.uk/




  5. #5
    Thanks caorach, the area is to my knowledge is not shot which is what has brought about a certain amount of frustration from the owner so fingers crossed they won&#39;t be too shy! Though after everything you&#39;ve said I am not feeling too confident and will be particularly careful with the wind and visuals.<br />
    &nbsp;Have a dog who is pretty good at tracking, will neck shoot when the situation allows. There won&#39;t be a problem tracking onto neighbouring ground.
    Last edited by liongeorge; 20-11-2013 at 07:40.

  6. #6
    If they are not shot, or very lightly shot, then you may find they will feed out onto the fields well before last light and this is especially true of the hinds and smaller stags which are a lot less wary than a big stag in my experience. The other thing in your favour is that any limited feeding in the forestry (assuming commercial sitka or similar) will be dying back and next to useless in terms of food value to them so this may well push them onto open ground.

    They are all different but I have some commercial forestry bordering agricultural land and the deer will usually start moving along the edge of the trees about an hour before sunset though they will rarely move fully out onto the fields until after sunset. If you can stalk in the trees then you can use their own tactic against them and stalk along in the shadow of the forest, maybe 3 - 4 trees deep into the forest, looking out onto the open areas. This is especially effective if there is a bit of wind to cover any noise you might make and there is always a risk of bumping them in the trees but that's no different to any stalking.

    There is something of a crackdown on poaching going on in the RoI at the minute, as I understand it, so it would be worth catching up on the differences between UK and RoI law and making sure everything is in order for your trip as it would be a shame to get caught in the "crackdown" through some minor misunderstanding or because of some small difference in the laws.
    For self catering accommodation on the Isle of Lewis please visit:
    http://www.7south.co.uk/




  7. #7
    Ferry tonight cancelled due to bad weather, hopefully make it over tomorrow.
    The poaching crack down I think means they are hot on late shooting but I have to admit that I am not familiar with any differences in the law, I have tried looking on the Irish wildlife acts but they are absolutely vast and I can't find anything that is just deer specific.
    If anybody can enlighten me about this subject it would be much appreciated.

  8. #8
    A quickie lecture on our laws regarding deer stalking.
    Minimum calibre 22-250 shooting 55gr bullet.Legal shooting hours,one hour before sunrise to one hour after sunset.
    Paperwork,Deer Licence issued by National Parks and Wildlife,Non resident Firearms licence issued by An Garda Siochana.Your host must sponsor you and complete some sections of this application. However you have,I am sure,already got this in place or you will be leaving your rifle with Customs at your port of arrival.Bring your European Firearms Pass also.
    As Caorach has said sika are somewhat transient. I have seen Sika stags in late February on land I have stalked all winter and never laid an eye on before.

    Sika are smart,or at least have a higher IQ than fallow IMHO. Generally as others have pointed out they usually appear around dusk or dawn.After the rut however you might be lucky in finding a stag stuffing himself at any time of the day to regain a bit of weight.
    If local hunting pressure is heavy they do tend to go nocturnal,grey days seem to be more productive.

    Enjoy the trip,the Guinness and the local brew in Cork,Beamish stout,not a bad substitute. Do let us all know how the trip went.

    Re the gamedealer end of things. You cannot take a deer to a local butcher in this country,a big no no. Look at the Wild Deer Association of Ireland page on Facebook. If you put up a question there someone might be able to advise. Or their website. The nearest gamedealer to Bantry is in Cahir that I know of and thats a fair old hoick.
    Last edited by Sika98k; 22-11-2013 at 00:41. Reason: Added a bit of info.

  9. #9
    Thanks for your post Sika98. I am in Ireland now, all my paperwork is as it should be etc. Progress report not good, got out with my host first thing , did not see anything and very little trade at all, though did find a couple of scrapes and fresh droppings in the woods. The concerning thing is that where the deer cross a river to get on the property at a few points that the owner says is normally a muddy motorway it is virtually overgrown and he took me to a couple of places where there have been wallows in the past and they are overgrown. He even showed me a photo the main field that is all trampled with a large muddy patch in the middle that is a couple of years old, there is virtually no trade there now. My host is a bit bewildered as to where the deer have gone as he hasn't been keeping an eye on the ground much this year. Now the olnly thing that has changed is that a nieghbour has been grazing a horse in the field dropping it off and picking it up morning and night for the last few months it is in an electric fenced area.

    A bit disappointing to say the least as have come a long way and I feel bad for my host as well , he has got a few four point antlers that have been picked up in this very field. Apparently the deer are not shot in the area, the deer are all comminig of a large nature reserve that is not shot. So a bit of a mystery as to what has happened to them. Perhaps the horse is enough of a disturbance.

  10. #10
    :-) welcome to the wonderful world of sika.

    I saw about 50 sika hinds go around 20 miles one night and not return for 5 months for no reason that I could ever establish. They came back just as quickly at the end of that time, for no reason that I could ever establish either.

    It may be that there is still, somehow, decent feeding on the nature reserve meaning they are sitting tight in the forestry. The rut is probably over so they will not be moving to the rut and that can greatly reduce the number of deer you see. I have an area that us usually covered with wallows that doesn't have any this year, can't explain that either. Also in Ireland, whether you see it or not, there is a good chance that someone is shooting them even on the nature reserve. A chap I know has some ground in Ireland which he reports as having been totally emptied of deer by poaching and I often hear shots on my own ground when there should be no one else there, plus I have found wounded and dead deer sometimes in considerable numbers and it wasn't me who shot them. The deer react to all of this and in the bit of Ireland I know I suspect it is rare to meet a deer that isn't being shot at on a regular basis.

    Despite all this there are probably still a small number of deer on the ground and in the situation where you have a low density covering lots of ground greatly increases your chances of bumping into one of them. I'd be covering as much ground as I can from the start of legal shooting until an hour after sunrise and again from an hour before sunset until it is pitch black, it may be worth walking the ground after legal shooting to see if anything is moving in the pitch dark as if they are being poached they may not move until it is pitch black. Of course moving quickly also increases your chances of the deer seeing you before you see them but...
    For self catering accommodation on the Isle of Lewis please visit:
    http://www.7south.co.uk/




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