Extracting Red deer, advice needed.

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SaOsborne

Well-Known Member
I have an opportunity to cull red deer on some really rough Spruce forestry. A number of animals need to be culled.

The issue I have is extraction. I have held off for a year gathering kit to ensure I can do the stalking justice. I have a petrol capstan winch and deer sled. I can get access to a Polaris ranger (150mile drag!), but the ground is so unforgiving it was hard work last time, just getting in and I was really fearfull of getting stuck. It is very wet clay, the track one side is a bog, sunk to belly plate in ranger. the other side was never made good after Euro Forestry stripped it, now a mire of brash lines, reed grass swamp, ditches 2-4ft deep, reed grass tall enough you can only see the head of a Red calf, bramble and all interseeded with new saplings. The last time I took the machine in the grass hid all the pitfalls and within 300yds I was grounded on a stump, 1/2 an hour of sweat later I moved on to the next hidden stump!

The grounds are long and thin, bounded by a river on one side, with only 1 access point at one end, and over a Km to the end where I see most deer. I was lucky this weekend to take 1 red calf Hind, which I carried in my awsome Monarch sika sack (genuinely a good sack), all the way out, she weighted in at 30Kg with head n feet. I then had a 2nd calf and 3 yr(ish) hind. the second calf was around 32kg with head n feet and the hind around 60kg, so not big. It took 2 of us to recover in the deer tray in the dark, getting out at around 20:30, having shot at 17:20 ish. Hard work was an understatment, god knows if we have even a young stag, the winch will pull it but over a Km with a max pull of 100m per setup this is a long haul. Ideas on how to make this a more realistic event please!

At this point I think a mule is the way to go, just a shame they don't fit in the pickup!

The wood is 150 miles each way, so I can't nip home for a spanner etc if I break something.

What do you guys do to save dying of heart failure?
 

caorach

Well-Known Member
I shoot sika in sitka forestry, so a lot smaller than your deer, and have slowly come to the conclusion that the only solution is neck/head shots so they go right down and not to shoot them on clearfell/replanting as getting them out is next to impossible assuming you can find them. However, I'm not sure that helps you as you don't seem to have the option to shoot them on a track or field. Is there any way to get to take the shots in a location where it is easier getting them out? I suspect they don't live on the clearfell full time so can you get them as they move on or off it? Is there any chance the landowner at the far end would allow access for extraction? I'm sure you've thought of all of this but in the end the answer is that if you shoot them on clearfell then you've got to carry them off it and it sounds like you are heading for a broken leg.

A chap I know once informed me that "I like to shoot all my deer in the rut - the rut of where my car has just driven" and there's a lot in that as I don't think there is a simple answer for you other than "if you shoot them, you carry them."
 

rem284

Well-Known Member
man up. you cant beat getting the bike right to the beast. you can build bridges, make brash mats through boggy bits etc to get the bike further. This takes time and if you can justify spending the time its for you to decide. A pulley can be useful too
 

Vulpesvulpes

Well-Known Member
I am in the exact same predicament and i have come to the conclusion that a Highland pony may be the answer. Time to speak nicely to surrounding farmer?
 

Heym SR20

Well-Known Member
Have had a similar challenge on a large area of wind blown timber. Replanting was happening so they needed culling. There was no chance of getting any vehicle in. And far too tough to drag so it was a matter of cutting out the back straps and the haunches and loading them into a pack and carrying them out. There were Sea Eagles nesting close by. They would see us coming in, get up in the air and circle where the deer were. And at the shot they were down and would sit waiting to for you finish chopping things up.
 

Border

Well-Known Member
I am in the exact same predicament and i have come to the conclusion that a Highland pony may be the answer. Time to speak nicely to surrounding farmer?

That was going to be my suggestion as well. Don't know if there is anyone using ponies for lowland extraction?
 

arron

Well-Known Member
Have you not got a pal or 2 you can call on , if nothing else for your own safety , experience with extraction and atv driving would be a good advantage too !! You would be surprised where a quad would get in the right hands with a chainsaw aswell , good luck and welcome to real stalking ,,, haha
 

jubnut

Well-Known Member
Welcome to red deer. They are hard work.

You've got a capstan winch, a 4x4 and a polaris? if you can't sort it out between that lot get more people.
 
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MACKY

Well-Known Member
As said you've got all the right gear.
Chainsaw and some bridging ladders and your all set.
As for taking them out at night I think that's asking for trouble.
Leave them till the morning you've got all day to drag them out.
 

75

Well-Known Member
I'd be investing some time in clearing access for the polaris. If you've only got a 1km length which is the problem about then I'd be looking at creating a route through there so you could get your polaris or a quad from one end to the other - might not be a straight line and doesn't need be a fully made gravel roadway, but a weekend spend clearing some brash from around stumps etc and creating a route through would help massively. At least you could then see the stumps and avoid them. might be better done when the weather improves and everything dries out.
 

I. Farticus

Well-Known Member
Can you quarter and carry out what you can?

This sounds like a pretty remote place, so unlikely that Mrs & Mrs Suburbia will happen across the carcass with their Labracockerpoopug...
 

deerstalker.308

Well-Known Member
Even with all the gear you’ve listed, the description of the scenario you’ve given would say to me definitely you need help, if for no other reason than safety. Uneven ground, quad bikes and winches, create a dangerous proposition, especially 150 miles from home. There’s no “easy” way to extract Reds, I shoot on very flat if quite wet ground, and simply couldn’t shift the larger stuff without a quad and a winch in the back of my pickup, even now I still go through a little check list before pulling the trigger where I double check with myself if I can physically get to where it might drop.
 
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nun_hunter

Well-Known Member
Is the river an option with a small boat? Sounds like you can shoot them fairly close to the river and then travel back with the deer in a boat?
 

jackfish

Well-Known Member
A good chance a quad with tracks might get over the boggy bits, the tracks dissipate and spread the load very well.

I'm quite restricted where I can and can't get the quad bike to on my ground, if I had the tracks I'd get all over it.

The only issue with the tracks option is, they are very very expensive.
 

JAYB

Administrator
Site Staff
A good chance a quad with tracks might get over the boggy bits, the tracks dissipate and spread the load very well.

I'm quite restricted where I can and can't get the quad bike to on my ground, if I had the tracks I'd get all over it.

The only issue with the tracks option is, they are very very expensive.

All true Bryan :D

John
 

Ranger22

Well-Known Member
If you get a quad you could possibly utilise the forwarder tracks or make rough tracks of your own. Is the whole area felled? If not brash yourself quad tracks through the timber, done right you can stalk into areas nice and quietly using these too
 
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