Hind stalking

James0586

Well-Known Member
Hi all,

im going to Scotland in October and want some advice on how to age a red hind and signs to look out for to pick a cull animal.

Ive only ever stalked in woodland and open field never highland!

any help guidance would be great.
 
Last edited:

jackfish

Well-Known Member
Assuming that you are heading up with an experienced stalker, pick his brains and get the most out of your time with him. Everyone has to start somewhere! I'm sure he will put you on to a suitable beast. Hope you have a great time.
 

James0586

Well-Known Member
It’s an invite to a mates permission so I don’t have a guide as such. He’s an experienced stalker but sometime I won’t be with him so wanted help on identification not to look an idiot and take a wrong animal. I have a DSC1 and have shot many lowland deer I’ve just never handled reds so just wanted some advice.
 

.25-06

Well-Known Member
Depending on what mechanical advantage you have you would not go wrong only taking a calf out.

It’s an invite to a mates permission so I don’t have a guide as such. He’s an experienced stalker but sometime I won’t be with him so wanted help on identification not to look an idiot and take a wrong animal. I have a DSC1 and have shot many lowland deer I’ve just never handled reds so just wanted some advice.
 

deeangeo

Well-Known Member
At that time of year, you’d be looking for a yeld hind, unless you’re taking both hind and calf.
A good indication of age is to look closely at the length of the head on the beast. As they age, they get more ‘horsey’ and lengthen. Rather than a young beast with much shorter head length.

No doubt this will get into which to shoot first, hind or calf.
Well in my book it depends on knowledge, contributing circumstances and common sense.

PS: And of course .25-06 and Malxwal are right, recovering/getting it out has to be a consideration.
 
Last edited:

Malxwal

Well-Known Member
Depending on what mechanical advantage you have you would not go wrong only taking a calf out.

This +1.
Have a long hard think about where you are recovering from and by what means. Its not so much the weight, but the terrain you may to drag it over/up to your means of mechanised recovery.
 

White Hart

Well-Known Member
I was lucky last season and had quite a bit of hind stalking, as you know its completely different style of stalking but im not teaching you to such eggs on that. I hugely respect highland stalkers and keepers, its hard challenging work.

Some valuable lessons I've learned the hard way...

# Know the ground
# Know the weather - it will change
# Be aware of other animals sheep will give you away
# Check the wind constantly, the terrain will throw it in different directions
# Take more ammunition on the hill than you'll need
# Take a good stick to aid stability, poke the ground for soft bits etc I also found it useful to stick it in the ground at the point I shot from then when your looking for the hind keep looking back at it for reference.
# The wind were you are and the wind were the beast is might not be the same ie for shot placement look how active the tufts of grass are.
# Once you've dropped it you'll have to get it out... As mentioned you need to think this through

The year of red deer series on fieldsports Britain maybe of some use to familiarize yourself, maybe this episode will help?


You'll have a fantastic experience.

WH
 

User00001

Well-Known Member
Early season it is probably more important to identify which ones have a calf depending on estate policy on culling yeld hinds/yearlings/calves.

Top tip that I learned from a very experienced Stalker; if you want to shoot a hind and calf together and want to shoot the calf first is to pick a pair where the hind is distinctive for some reason (colour/wonky ear/bald patch ect) that way you can shoot her calf and then still hopefully identify her if she gets mixed up with others after the first shot. If you end up not getting the second shot its not the end of the world as you have still taken the calf first. Not so important later in the season but still best practice.

If they are still standing around after the first two shots (and you are confidant that they were good shots) then, depending on estate policy and location/means of extraction, just shoot more calves.
 

dodgyknees

Well-Known Member
A good indication of age is to look closely at the length of the head on the beast. As they age, they get more ‘horsey’ and lengthen. Rather than a young beast with much shorter head length

This is how we do it. Easy as in the field once you’ve got your eye in. There won’t be much body weight / height difference between a young mature adult and an old mature adult, but the heads will be markedly different. Hope these photos show the difference.

Older hind, 5 or 6+ yrs:

C39012FB-7A94-4211-B2DE-C92DBD86B0D1.jpg

Middling hind, probably 3+ yrs:

3AFE6302-1C50-4A46-A141-0B1E8A9F7517.jpeg

Yearling hind, 1 year, obviously a lot smaller in the body than a mature animal. These are the best eating and the ones we go after when we need to control numbers.

40922353-B014-4E22-9DE0-20E378E359BE.jpeg
 
Last edited:

woodmaster

Well-Known Member
Good pictures there from DK. Just remember not all the young ones stick their tongue out, so don't spend too much time looking for that identifying feature!
 

chanonry

Active Member
Was out with the Ranger at Blair Atholl years ago. He was asked on his DSC2 why he had selected that animal for culling - "it was brown". And he is the pro.

To be slightly more helpful, maybe. Find out your mates cull target and whether he is particularly fussy about what goes in the larder that early on. If he has a lot to shoot then:

a) he may just struggle to get the numbers so it is more about getting beasts off the hill than being picky. Make hay while the sun shines or before the weather closes in like last year

and b) the early weeks of the season are a time to get some numbers so people are not fussy about it being the 'right beast'.

So in my experience it is more important to shoot a few than pass up shooting opportunities because they were not the 'right one'. His ground his rules though.

If you are being selective, you want to shoot the old knackered ones. Calf or no calf. So just poor condition, more grey hair rather than strong red, hairy ears, saggy bellies, sort of angular arse. (There is a joke in there!) In years like last year they will not make it through the winter and they are eating valuable food that may sustain a deer in healthier condition so shoot it. And make sure the calf gets one as well.

If you want one to eat, shoot a healthy looking one without a calf (not always obvious).

It is a very different game to other forms of stalking. Distances are much longer and often steep (think extraction !) there are lots of eyes, shots are longer, the weather can be awful (October not too bad hopefully), expect some longer shots in the wind and the cull is not just a couple here and there over several months.

So by the time you have got yourself in (not too close, too many eyes) you need to take some deer rather than passing up shots. Just take the worst of the bunch if you can. If not, just shoot a couple.

Trick is not to take buckeroo shots. Its a long chase up there if the thing is shot but not down. Much more effective to take one or two and get another stalk in rather than try to chase it 3 miles over the hill.

So kit for crap weather/crawling on soaking ground all day, a big stick as a third leg, and a laser rangefinder. None are perhaps 'musts' but they will make your trip go a bit better for you. Don't worry about shooting the wrong thing, its not Roe buck stalking it is about getting the numbers on the hill down.
 
Last edited:

James0586

Well-Known Member
Was out with the Ranger at Blair Atholl years ago. He was asked on his DSC2 why he had selected that animal for culling - "it was brown". And he is the pro.

To be slightly more helpful, maybe. Find out your mates cull target and whether he is particularly fussy about what goes in the larder that early on. If he has a lot to shoot then:

a) he may just struggle to get the numbers so it is more about getting beasts off the hill than being picky. Make hay while the sun shines or before the weather closes in like last year

and b) the early weeks of the season are a time to get some numbers so people are not fussy about it being the 'right beast'.

So in my experience it is more important to shoot a few than pass up shooting opportunities because they were not the 'right one'. His ground his rules though.

If you are being selective, you want to shoot the old knackered ones. Calf or no calf. So just poor condition, more grey hair rather than strong red, hairy ears, saggy bellies, sort of angular arse. (There is a joke in there!) In years like last year they will not make it through the winter and they are eating valuable food that may sustain a deer in healthier condition so shoot it. And make sure the calf gets one as well.

If you want one to eat, shoot a healthy looking one without a calf (not always obvious).

It is a very different game to other forms of stalking. Distances are much longer and often steep (think extraction !) there are lots of eyes, shots are longer, the weather can be awful (October not too bad hopefully), expect some longer shots in the wind and the cull is not just a couple here and there over several months.

So by the time you have got yourself in (not too close, too many eyes) you need to take some deer rather than passing up shots. Just take the worst of the bunch if you can. If not, just shoot a couple.

Trick is not to take buckeroo shots. Its a long chase up there if the thing is shot but not down. Much more effective to take one or two and get another stalk in rather than try to chase it 3 miles over the hill.

So kit for crap weather/crawling on soaking ground all day, a big stick as a third leg, and a laser rangefinder. None are perhaps 'musts' but they will make your trip go a bit better for you. Don't worry about shooting the wrong thing, its not Roe buck stalking it is about getting the numbers on the hill down.
.

Makes more sense cheers for that.
 
Top