Deer in Wales

paul k

Well-Known Member
#1
I look forward to reading the review of the various stalking seasons in Shooting Times each year. I am always looking out for good deer shot in Wales and I'm usually disappointed but not this year.

It was particulary interesting that this year a silver medal 22 point red stag was reported from Powys and a silver medal sika stag from Glamorgan. Every other red on the list apart from a single Scottish beast came from East Anglia

I knew that there are some big reds about in Powys but according to most experts there are no wild sika in Wales apart from a single small group on the Teifi estuary which might be sika x red crosses.

The spread of deer in Wales is quite amazing as in the 1970s there were really just fallow with maybe a few red in the Welshpool area and a few roe just starting to spread in from Shropshire.

We now have red, fallow, roe, muntjac and apparently sika and the roe have got as far as Bangor on the far NW Wales coast.
 

paul k

Well-Known Member
#3
apollo said:
I would love a few in gwent, i have to travel for an hour to stalk near hereford.
Gwent Constablary must have lightened up a bit since I lived there to give you an open variation for boar. In those days people were moving from the Monmouth area a few miles into Herefordshire or Gloucestershire to get into a different police area as the Chief Constable of Gwent would give nothing. The irony was that they then went back into Gwent to stalk.

Is it roe that you are stalking near Hereford as I also stalk just outside Hereford but to date its just fallow although I'm told that roe are not too far away. I saw a roe doe roadkill near Weobley as much as 10 years ago.

In Monmouthshire at the moment there are of course plenty of fallow but there are now also a few roe and muntjac but the nearest reds are just outside the county in Breconshire (Powys).
 
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swampy

Guest
#4
I am going to my dads at the weekend he lives in Denbighshire near to LLansannan. I always look around and think "there should be deer everywhere" He is seeing one or two fallow around the area. It looks great for roe as well. How far in are Muntjac now?

Swampy
 
#5
deer in north Wales

Hi all

have had reports of roe / muntjac having been seen in the Llangollen to Corwen area but we suspect these are being checked via the fox lamping groups acting for shoots in the area, I'll keep my ear to the ground via my contacts in the area to try to find out more as numbers do not seem to be growing that quick even though very few people know they are pressent in the area.
A very small number of fallow were released onto the moors around the shooting school on the top of the horse shoe pass when the owner was denied money for a blackcock centre as these deer were to be one of the attractions, they where seen from time to time on my trip to work but word had it they moved into the forestry blocks on the moors for cover and can still be seen on fox drive days etc.
Deer around Llansanon may be from either the Ruthin area as a driver I used to employ when I worked in the area, who's father farmed in the locality to Ruthin, used to get the odd young buck and doe on his land from time to time, or they could come over from the Dolgellau area.
Muntjac have been seen on fox drives around the Bala area (5 miles east of Bala) but these seam to be isolated reports so how they thumbed a lift to these areas (in shiny new caravans with Ivor Williams, writen down the side possibly) is or must be by questionable means as they seem to skip large areas of North Wales to settle in the Bala area.

Well hope this little bit of info helps with the types of deer being seen in parts of North wales I'll give my mates in the area a ring and find out if anything eles has been seen or heared off in the area.
 
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swampy

Guest
#6
I think we are looking at a natural progression and spread of roe and fallow. There are fallow on the Cefn Estate and it is likely they have just spread over the hills. the roe will slowly be making headway.

I think the lampers slightly retard the spread of deer. I don't think they keep it in check. We are heavily poached here but roe continue to spread.

swamps
 

paul k

Well-Known Member
#7
Picking up on some of your points. My understanding of deer distribution in North Wales is as follows:

There are three main groups of fallow in North Wales. There is a big population loosely based on the Elwy valley which have been there for many years with the majority spread over a couple of large estates including the Cefn Estate mentioned by Swampy. These deer range as far down as the outskirts of St. Asaph and almost up to Llangernyw. The Llansannan deer reported by Monty are part of this herd. There are possibly over 1,000 fallow in all of this area but the bucks are generally of poor quality although one of the estates reckons they now have a silver medal buck after years of careful management.

The next group is in the Clocaenog Forest and possibly originated from the group above. They are smaller in number and difficult to see, but they are sometimes seen on the shores of Brenig. I think that there are less than 100 here.

The other major population in North Wales is based on the Coed y Brenin forest north of Dolgellau and fallow are all over the forest and in the adjacent areas. They used to be numerous but a heavy cull of up to 400 was undertaken some years ago and there are far less about now, plus they are more widely spread. The bulk are found north of the A 494, east of the A 470 and south of the A4212 but they do also pop up outside of this area.

The fallow occasionally seen near Ruthin are either Clocaenog deer or Elwy valley deer that have moved out but both these populations seem to stay roughly within their existing boundaries. I shoot a wooded area regularly near Ruthin on the Clocaenog side and have yet to see definite signs of deer although I saw a partial slot just last month in a wood near that looked promising but might have been a sheep. There are very few if any on the eastern side of the Vale of Clwyd.

There used to be a few fallow on Anglesey in the Newborough Warren areas but I have heard reports that these are much reduced in number if not extinct. The fallow on the moors near the Horseshoe Pass are new to me but I don't doubt it, ironically the woods that they have probably ended up in are one of the best blackcock locations in Wales.

I think that Monty is right about the muntjac as they do seem to have turned up in new areas with no particular link to other established areas. Recent distribution maps produced by the Welsh Deer Initiative show them to be in the Caernarfon area, I have heard rumours of them being in the Dee valley and there are also some reported in the Rossett area near Wrexham.

Roe are spreading rapidly, probably originating from the Ludlow area, (those deer probably also being a deliberate release), possibly with some "help" but are now found pretty much all over Wales but in most places they are in very low densities. Sadly, the Forestry Commission was reported to have a "shoot on sight" policy on roe in Wales at one time but this may have helped spread them faster.

I have seen a photo of a buck in someone's garden in Bangor and another was shot near St. Asaph in 2004. There are nine 10km squares with roe reported in the North Wales area. General areas include the Conwy valley, Dee valley, Coed y Brenin and the coastal strip. I have yet to see a live roe in the area.

Reds are in three general areas, the two in the north are adjacent to Powis Castle in Welshpool, and on the Lleyn Penisular but the largest group in Wales is in the south in the Brecon Beacons and originated from farm escapees. These include some very big stags and I'm sure that this is where the Silver Medal stag came from.

As far as I know there are no sika in north or mid-Wales but there are supposed to be a very few on the Teifi estuary and the silver medal stag from Glamorgan comes from an area where none had been reported before - the animal may have been a park escapee, possibly from Margam Park near Port Talbot.
 

paul k

Well-Known Member
#8
CIC Medal Heads

I've been in contact with Richard Prior and he tells me that the silver medal red and sika that I mentioned above are the only medal heads that he has seen from Wales and he has only ever been given one Welsh roe head to measure.

Do members think that the apparent lack of good quality roe heads from Wales is an indication of genuine poor quality or the reluctance of successful stalkers to publicise their achievements.

I know that much of Wales is fairly poor ground but there are areas of Wales that have the potential to produce good heads.
 

PaulB

Active Member
#9
First off hello all!, and to add to what Paul k has already posted fallow are also present ( by present i mean roaming ) on the st asaph side of denbigh and out to soddom / tremerchion area, some have been reported to have crossed the A55 into woods around the lloc / trelawnyd area, but unfortunately have meet their end.
Roe are present in the hendre / cilcain area but in small numbers, but of very good condition.
Ifor williams trailers indeed! I'm sure it must happen, but how you get 30-40 or 100 kg kick beast under control? :rolleyes:
 

paul k

Well-Known Member
#10
PaulB said:
First off hello all!, and to add to what Paul k has already posted fallow are also present ( by present i mean roaming ) on the st asaph side of denbigh and out to soddom / tremerchion area, some have been reported to have crossed the A55 into woods around the lloc / trelawnyd area, but unfortunately have meet their end.
Roe are present in the hendre / cilcain area but in small numbers, but of very good condition.
Ifor williams trailers indeed! I'm sure it must happen, but how you get 30-40 or 100 kg kick beast under control? :rolleyes:
You're right about St. Asaph, one of the best places to see fallow from your car in this area is in the first field on the right as you leave St. Asaph for Trefnant, next to the Eryl Hall caravan park in the last hour of daylight. This is almost within the 30 mph limit for St. Asaph!

I live in Tremeirchion and I have to say that haven't seen or heard of one on this side of the Clwyd yet and the Master of the Flint & Denbigh Hunt also recently told me that he hasn't seen a deer on the east bank yet.

There are no real big woods in the eastern Vale, apart from those at Llangwyfan, and despite searching frequently I've never seen a slot up there. Interesting to hear of the roe in the Cilcain area which is very close to these woods, it's ideal country for them.
 

PaulB

Active Member
#11
Hello Paul, yes I know the field you mean, it has maize stubble or similar on it at the moment, watched 6 does there on Tuesday last from the gas ( i think ) works, at about 10.30 am no more than 250 yards from the roundabout!
Surprised to hear you haven't seen any sign round your way, I've not seen them myself, but a shooting buddie swears he seen deer in soddom, a group of 8 or 9, so even if he is exaggerating the numbers and we say 5 or 6 we must IMHO be talking fallow, as there are no roe locally in those numbers.
Tremeirchion nice village, just a stones throw from away on the other side of the 55.
 

paul k

Well-Known Member
#12
PaulB said:
Hello Paul, yes I know the field you mean, it has maize stubble or similar on it at the moment, watched 6 does there on Tuesday last from the gas ( i think ) works, at about 10.30 am no more than 250 yards from the roundabout!
Surprised to hear you haven't seen any sign round your way, I've not seen them myself, but a shooting buddie swears he seen deer in soddom, a group of 8 or 9, so even if he is exaggerating the numbers and we say 5 or 6 we must IMHO be talking fallow, as there are no roe locally in those numbers.
Tremeirchion nice village, just a stones throw from away on the other side of the 55.
I'll go and have a mooch around some time and if there are 8 or 9 its virtually certain that they are fallow.

I heard from Jackie at the WDI today and she tells me that more roe and and muntjac are being reported across Wales. Several roe have been shot in North Wales, several from the Bangor area. Both roe and muntjac have recently appeared near Merthyr Tydfil, probably spread across from the Abergavenny area.
 
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swampy

Guest
#13
soon...sooon.

Deer are funny things. I am currently living in lincolnshire. I see deer nearly every day. 10 years ago i hardly ever saw one and people weren't reporting them.

They live almost un notivced until they get pretty dense, then all of a suddnely tehy seem everywhere!!!

Roe don't need big woods, they do ok here and it is arable desert in most places with spinneys and big hedges.

swampy
 
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swampy

Guest
#15
fallow

He saw one last weekend walk accross his field.

he is only seeing one at a time. This makes me think it is on the edge of a herds range and maybe these are yearling bucks that have been pushed out.

it is great ground for them in a hamlet called Bryn-Rhyd-Yr-Arian.

s
 

paul k

Well-Known Member
#16
I saw fallow today in a place that I've never seen them before although only a few miles from a good population.

For those that know the area, if you drive from Denbigh towards St. Asaph and take a right in Denbigh Green and head across towards the main Mold - St. Asaph road you are then on a fairly straight but narrow road with fields both sides heading up towards the x-roads.

I was coming down this road from Tremeirchion towards Denbigh Green at about 14:00 today and I saw three bucks in one of the fields alongside this road. They were two sorels (still in hard antler) and a pricket and they were standing in a corner of the field right up against the road, I almost did a double take, when I returned about an hour later they were lying down in the middle of the field as happy as you like.
 

paul k

Well-Known Member
#17
As an update to this, Denbighshire CC have recently erected deer warning signs on the A541 Mold - Denbigh road near Afonwen. I wrote to the council asking what species they were and what had prompted this action but only got a vague response. What this does do is support Swampy and PaulB in that fallow deer are clearly now on the east bank of the Clwyd but in what numbers I'm not sure.

I was out in one of the more traditional areas in the Elwy valley a week ago and heard more bucks groaning than I've heard in this area for some time. I could hear four for sure and maybe two others and then saw another two fighting on the road that weren't any that I'd previously heard. In previous years in the same area I could only hear two or three.
 
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Leon

Well-Known Member
#18
As an update to this, Denbighshire CC have recently erected deer warning signs on the A541 Mold - Denbigh road near Afonwen. I wrote to the council asking what species they were and what had prompted this action but only got a vague response. What this does do is support Swampy and PaulB in that fallow deer are clearly now on the east bank of the Clwyd but in what numbers I'm not sure.

I was out in one of the more traditional areas in the Elwy valley a week ago and heard more bucks groaning than I've heard in this area for some time. I could hear four for sure and maybe two others and then saw another two fighting on the road that weren't any that I'd previously heard. In previous years in the same area I could only hear two or three.
That signs been up for about six months or more Paul, although I lamp all the area nearly round the mast on both the Afonwen side and Bodfari side there used to be a few Fallow knocking about a few years ago or so but nothing in the last two years since the police started hammering the lads going to Kimmel and surrounding areas wonder if this has something to do with it???? and nothing up towards Caerwys or Lloc on the ground a cover. Although I know a keeper who has shot a Fallow on the other side of the Conway valley not far from Caerhun.
 
#19
Hi all

have had reports of roe / muntjac having been seen in the Llangollen to Corwen area but we suspect these are being checked via the fox lamping groups acting for shoots in the area, I'll keep my ear to the ground via my contacts in the area to try to find out more as numbers do not seem to be growing that quick even though very few people know they are pressent in the area.
A very small number of fallow were released onto the moors around the shooting school on the top of the horse shoe pass when the owner was denied money for a blackcock centre as these deer were to be one of the attractions, they where seen from time to time on my trip to work but word had it they moved into the forestry blocks on the moors for cover and can still be seen on fox drive days etc.
Deer around Llansanon may be from either the Ruthin area as a driver I used to employ when I worked in the area, who's father farmed in the locality to Ruthin, used to get the odd young buck and doe on his land from time to time, or they could come over from the Dolgellau area.
Muntjac have been seen on fox drives around the Bala area (5 miles east of Bala) but these seam to be isolated reports so how they thumbed a lift to these areas (in shiny new caravans with Ivor Williams, writen down the side possibly) is or must be by questionable means as they seem to skip large areas of North Wales to settle in the Bala area.

Well hope this little bit of info helps with the types of deer being seen in parts of North wales I'll give my mates in the area a ring and find out if anything eles has been seen or heared off in the area.
Muntjac were seen near oswestry nearly 10 years ago and there are now very reliable reports of them in the Meifod valley
 

paul k

Well-Known Member
#20
That signs been up for about six months or more Paul, although I lamp all the area nearly round the mast on both the Afonwen side and Bodfari side there used to be a few Fallow knocking about a few years ago or so but nothing in the last two years since the police started hammering the lads going to Kimmel and surrounding areas wonder if this has something to do with it???? and nothing up towards Caerwys or Lloc on the ground a cover. Although I know a keeper who has shot a Fallow on the other side of the Conway valley not far from Caerhun.
People have previously reported a few in the Sodom area near Bodfari, another guy saw a couple in a field near the Cilcain turn a year or so ago. I've looked round the area quite carefully and never seen a deer anywhere near the A541 so I still don't think there are too many in the Wheeler valley or on the eastern side of the Clwyd. Funnily enough although poachers and the estate stalkers have been giving the fallow a bit of a hammering on Kinmel and Cefn there are still a lot of fallow in that general area although more on adjacent land rather than those two estates, however on the more remote parts of Kinmel (outside the park) there seem to be plenty.

There were also a few roe starting to turn up in the Cilcain/Hendre area in 2007, I saw one and found a skin discarded near Gwasanney (Mold) and others saw one or two in the same area however they now seem to have disappeared. There was a roe photographed in a garden not far from Caerhun.
 
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