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Thread: New Forest Sika

  1. #1

    New Forest Sika

    Hello all,

    I went walking in the New Forest on Saturday, not specifically to see the deer but it was certainly an added bonus. I had no idea how many Sika are there!

    There were two things of note; firstly they seemed tame in that they were happy to stand and watch us (at around 30 yards) for as long as we wanted. Are they tame or wild, and are they culled?

    Second, the Stag was huge, 13 points and beams the thickness of my wrist, yet looked pure Sika, do they have some red in them? He seemed to be staying with a group of hinds like a red stag in the rut-this cant be normal behaviour as I thought they lived in seperate groups like reds.

    Whilst walking this weekend (also in the Chilterns) I have seen and watched Sika, Fallow, Roe and Munts. Has anyone done the clean sweep ie all 6 species? If so where (not Woburn!)?

    ATB

    JH

  2. #2
    Distinguished Member tartinjock's Avatar
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    Sika

    I am part of a very well run syndicate that borders the New Forrest, I can assure you that the Sika on the ground I shoot are not tame. Deer will, if not disturbed, be happy for general backround noise. Wait untill you have a rifle with you, a cocktail stick at 400m will move them on, still, that's part of the sport "Stalking"not "Shooting".

  3. #3

    Re: New Forest Sika

    Quote Originally Posted by jameshodgson
    Has anyone done the clean sweep ie all 6 species? If so where (not Woburn!)?
    You couldn't do the 6 at Woburn anyway - there are no roe there, and the sika are Manchurian not Jap so they wouldn't count .....

    I've been racking my brains (or what the Lagavulin has left of them) and can't think of anywhere outside a park where you have a fair chance of seeing all 6. Unless there are any sika in Norfolk or thereabouts? It's the CWD that make it a difficult challenge.

  4. #4
    TJ,

    I thought they were wild, I just have never seen wild deer so complacent around people, literally sat 20-30 yards hardly batting an eyelid. They must be very used to people. I appreciate though that with a rifle they would be different.

    The stag was magnificent, I did not realise they got to that size.

    JH.

  5. #5
    Hi James
    You should take a walk around Arne RSPB reserve in Dorset you almost have to get off the footpath to let the Sika past.

    Wayne

  6. #6
    I have had a number of clients take all 6 species in 14 to 16 days with me, all wild unfenced. However the only time you stand a reasonable chance is in September, which is now not possible because of the season on Chinese Water Deer

    My Chinese are in Bedfordshire, Roe I have in Sussex, Oxfordshire, Wiltshire, Northumberland and Scotland, Fallow Northumberland, Northampotonshire, Sika Scotland and Northamptonshire, Muntjac Bedforshire Northamptonshire, European Red Northumberland, Scottish Red, Scotland, east and west coast.

    Sika in Dorset and the new forest always seem more settled to me than the Scottish ones. But they are cunning deer, with very much a sixth sense. I still hold the 5th SCI position for the largest Scottish Sika Stag with a client from the States, wild and unfenced, and not a hybrid. It only weighed 85lbs clean, but had a massive head. It was called out with a whistle during the rut. That was back about 10 years ago I think

  7. #7
    Distinguished Member tartinjock's Avatar
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    Sika

    They are a beautiful Deer, the Stags. My shoot has at least 4 big old boys, not to be shot yet though. It's run by Cervus, "Good Egg", but getting "Old" now.

    That will be me struck off the syndicate now, only kidding Cervus.....!!

  8. #8

    Re: New Forest Sika

    Quote Originally Posted by jameshodgson
    Has anyone done the clean sweep ie all 6 species? If so where (not Woburn!)?

    ATB

    JH
    hi james
    i hav shot all six in the same year but did five in the same month all within 1 1/2 hour of my home (my driving that is )
    i had to travel to argyll for sika for the 6th

  9. #9

    Re: New Forest Sika

    Quote Originally Posted by jameshodgson
    Second, the Stag was huge, 13 points and beams the thickness of my wrist, yet looked pure Sika, do they have some red in them? He seemed to be staying with a group of hinds like a red stag in the rut-this cant be normal behaviour as I thought they lived in seperate groups like reds.
    Sika readily hybridise with reds in Scotland and Ireland and this has occasionally occured in the New Forest. Peter Carne records that the ranges of the sika and reds seldom overlap but where sika get over the railway line that seems to form the boundary between the two species they are quickly culled out to keep the two species separate. Also any sika stag that starts to show interest in red hinds anywhere in the forest is also culled out before hybridisation can occur.

    It is possible that the stag you saw was the result of one that slipped through the net as 13 points is really exceptional for a pure sika stag.

    Whilst walking this weekend (also in the Chilterns) I have seen and watched Sika, Fallow, Roe and Munts. Has anyone done the clean sweep ie all 6 species? If so where (not Woburn!)?

    ATB

    JH
    As sikamalc and The Mole say the limiting factor is the CWD and any chance would have to be in a CWD area. The only areas which contain CWD are short at least one of the other species. Norfolk might offer the best chance of five species but sika are not recorded there.

    All six species are present or have been recorded in recent years in Bedfordshire but sika, roe and red are very scarce and your chances of seeing any of these are remote.

    The best that I have done is to see wild sika, fallow, muntjac and roe within a couple of hours whilst stalking on an estate in Sussex and a red hind out in a field a few miles away on the way home.

    I also once had a lunch on a pheaant shoot that was a venison stew including red, roe, fallow, muntjac and CWD.

  10. #10
    That is kind of what I assumed, but I gather CWD are spreading out into Northampton and other counties so who knows, eventually it may be a possibility?

    The deer certainly looked all Sika in the face and body, but he really was a big old boy. Lovely to see. As we walked to the car in the evening we saw a young stag and 2 hinds, and I swear he looked at us and angrily stamped his foot!

    The strange thing was that the deer seemed to be in groups of several hinds and a stag, almost like in the rut-is this normal?

    I have only shot red, roe, fallow and munts till now but I suppose plenty of time to add the others. I would love a representative of each for the wall.

    ATB

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