Friday afternoon Muntjac

Having had mixed success on my permission, I convinced myself that this afternoon would be worth the effort even if it was another dot stalk.

The wind was coming in from the NE, not really 'into the face' but would be coming in perpendicularly from the left-front once I got in to my position. Nice overcast afternoon, fair breeze from the NE, bluebells and greenery abounding, just great surroundings. I had decided not to sit up in a high seat, due to obscuration with all the growth, so sat against my pack and got my sticks set up, binos out and observing.

I had been sat down for about 10min when I saw a flicker of movement dead ahead. Slowly brought the binos up and spotted the muntjac doe, 70m away, moving towards me. I switched to the rifle, covers already popped open, acquired the doe in the scope, centred the crosshairs and slowly and deliberately moved the safety forward to 'fire'. I tracked the doe in the scope as she moved, willing her to turn to her left and give me that broadside target.
There. Trigger squeezed, bang and thud as she dropped where she stood. Quick reload, listen and watch as the birds loudly flew off out of the trees, watching the doe for any sign of movement. Nothing seen, safety back on and switch to binos to see if anything else was about, but nothing more.

I made my way over the fallen doe, did the eye test with my sticks and then continued to the gralloch after a quick 'thanks' to the muntjac.
Stalking is a lovely way to spend an afternoon, all the more sweet with something to show for it and keep the gralloch and butchery skills in hand.
20220429_151148.jpg
 

Beretta V

Well-Known Member
It is difficult but on one of my permission the owner just wants muntjac shot on sight and to shoot doe over buck.
I try not to shoot does if I think they have young on I won’t shoot them
 

EssexBigMac

Well-Known Member
Well done @Rory looks like you had a good stalk on your permission and did the job of protecting the flora and fauna for your farmer.
When are muntjac not pregnant?
Muntjac
There is no statutory closed season for this species. It is recommended that when culling female muntjac, immature or heavily pregnant does are selected to avoid leaving dependent young.
 

uptonogood

Well-Known Member
Im fully aware of farmers wishes but the only doe to shoot without fear of leaving dependant young are those heavily pregnant .
Same as lactating vixens ,it dosnt sit well with me but others don’t seem to care or Just need educating .Each to their own but not for me .
 

willie_gunn

Well-Known Member
In an ideal world we wouldn’t shoot lactating muntjac does. Sadly we don’t live in an ideal world.

I’ve shot does that I’d have sworn were pregnant, and does that I’d have sworn were not. It’s not an exact science, and even after over 20 years of stalking muntjac I still get it wrong.

In fact I shot a muntjac doe last night that, upon inspection, was not pregnant and was lactating. If I’d known this beforehand I might not have shot it, but in our kind of ground where often all you catch is a partial glimpse of a muntjac and nothing else, if I left every muntjac doe until I could 100% verify it wasn’t lactating I’d never shoot a doe!

Personally I’ll not shoot a muntjac doe if it’s being actively pursued by a buck, as the probability (in my mind) is that it has a kid somewhere. Even that, though, cannot be guaranteed, and I know many wouldn’t baulk at taking the shot.

I’ve also shot some muntjac that were perhaps not quite the size I thought they were. One or two have still had discernible spots on their coats. But who can accurately age juvenile muntjac on the hoof, to the point of guaranteeing when they are followers and when they are not? I certainly can’t.

We don’t go out stalking to inflict unnecessary suffering on our quarry, but with muntjac breeding all year round mistakes will inevitably be made. That’s what happens when you are trying to manage an ever-expanding muntjac population.

Well done, by the way.
 

uptonogood

Well-Known Member
It’s not a criticism ,just pointing it out .Each to their own ,just making the Op aware in case he wasn’t .
I also wager that on shooting a milky doe very few stalkers go looking for the kid or even care enough to take a second thought .
With thermals it’s not that hard ,she won’t be too far from it tucked up in cover .
Management alongside compassion can work as in fox control .
Boils the proverbial seeing lactating vixens all over media this time of year with never a thought to look for and deal with the cubs in a proper manner .
There are callous individuals among us granted but do we need to showcase that fact .
 

uptonogood

Well-Known Member
Not nitpicking (alright, I am ;) ) but, given that muntjac can be pregnant within 7 days of giving birth, it clearly can be the case that they can be both pregnant and lactating.
Granted mate but heavily pregnant and lactating isn’t possible and that’s what I picked up on .Half truths are worse than blatant untruths .
Trouble is on these forums ,there are very many grades of experience and to put something into writing that isn’t true may be be taken by some as gospel .Heavily pregnant does do not have dependant young but as you say that are definitely lactating and pregnant in the early stages .
 

willie_gunn

Well-Known Member
Granted mate but heavily pregnant and lactating isn’t possible and that’s what I picked up on .Half truths are worse than blatant untruths .

Depends what you define as “heavily pregnant”.

If you can guarantee a doe is heavily pregnant by examining them when they’re on the hoof, interested to hear how you do it.
 

uptonogood

Well-Known Member
Are you for real mate .I’m guessing biology not your forte .Muntie does heavily pregnant look heavily pregnant ,side on ,front on ,rear on and from above .If you can’t tell that then this conversation is going nowhere .
Next time we are out with the camera I’ll take a pic just for you sir and you can put as a screen saver 🤭
 

uptonogood

Well-Known Member
Just to reiterate ,I’m not against culling munties does in any state of pregnancy or having dependant young but to my mind there is a route to follow after finding a lactating doe and that is to look for and dispatch the kid in cover .
Its not over taxing with today thermals ,unpleasant yes but you have just killed it’s mother and left it to die .
Doing our best to redress our actions is the mark of a true countryman in my eyes ,something that is fading year on year with deer looked at as mere targets and vermin .
 

willie_gunn

Well-Known Member
Are you for real mate .I’m guessing biology not your forte .Muntie does heavily pregnant look heavily pregnant ,side on ,front on ,rear on and from above .If you can’t tell that then this conversation is going nowhere .
Next time we are out with the camera I’ll take a pic just for you sir and you can put as a screen saver 🤭

Apologies if it upset you. Didn’t realise you were quite so sensitive!

There are plenty on here who may not have shot a lot of muntjac. Subjective comments in a thread suggesting you can tell if a muntjac is “heavily pregnant” because they “look heavily pregnant” isn’t really going to help them.

I think I’ve got enough photos of deer, but thanks all the same ;)
 

Oh6

Well-Known Member
Trouble is... ...there are very many grades of experience and to put something into writing that isn’t true may be be taken by some as gospel.

Muntie does heavily pregnant look heavily pregnant ,side on ,front on ,rear on and from above.
Next time we are out with the camera I’ll take a pic.
...and that would be a very useful new thread to start, pictures of lots of Muntjac Does in all stages of pregnancy (including not pregnant) with differences or what to look for highlighted :thumb:
 
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