Info on Sika

Andy7mm

Well-Known Member
#1
I have been getting some funny stories from the farmer where I shot about a wood near by having "big deer" in it and the FC shooting them. so after a bit of digging online via the fc maps and the bds deer distrabution maps i have found out that on the other side of the farm from where i shot roe damaging a willow plantation is a large wood with a confirmed sika population.

now i have never even see a live sika, but if this red deer i would bet my bottom dollar that first/last light they would be in the field that borders the wood.

my question is would they act like this?

whats the best way to try and get into them?

and to save any problems is the shot placement point of shoulder?

also why are they not coming to the small wood with the willow? (only less than 1000m away)

Andy7mm
 
#2
Firstly, shot placement is the same as all other deer (in proportion of course). Sika are renowned for running, so it's a good idea to have access to a good deer dog.

They behave very much like red deer (they are very similar genetically, to the point that they can and do regularly interbreed, throwing fertile offspring) so anything that works for reds is likely to work well with Sika. They're not that different in behavior to Roe either, except for the herding thing. They are crepuscular (so yes, first and last light is the best time to catch them out and about).

If they have a decent food source, and a good amount of shelter in the large wood, why would they risk 1000m of open ground to get to something smaller and less capable of supporting them? If the numbers in the wood are high then some will undoubtedly have a wander in search of les crowded surroundings, but if the FC guys are keeping numbers down then there may well be no reason for them to wander.
 
#3
Sika can be very wary if they are shot at. I've no experience of reds in lowland/woodland situations and very little experience of them on the hill so I really can't make any valid comparisons.

Where I shoot them the last half hour of legal shooting time is the only time you'll see them out and about in most places, especially places where you might get a shot at them. However, hinds and small stags can be nosy and this can be their downfall as they will often try to work out what it is that disturbed them. Big stags just run, they don't look back or any of that stuff. However, if they can avoid it none of them will make a habit of coming onto open ground but rather will try to feed in areas within the wood or along the edge so they might only rarely come onto the fields if there is feeding in the wood.

I also believe that they have very good eyesight, they will see you standing still in cover at 300 yards with annoying regularity and I believe one big stag spotted me at 750 yards - a friend and myself were watching him with a spotting scope when he looked straight at us (the wind was good for us) and ran back into the trees. Make of that what you will but we were convinced that he saw us and we were lying in the heather.

I've also found that they like certain places, and dislike others, for no clear reason and they can change their mind and just vanish, they will move considerable distances overnight if they decide to go. Also at some times of they year, seemingly randomly, they can just move to somewhere else and stay for several months. This doesn't help if you are trying to work out a pattern so just because you sit and watch that forest edge for a week and see nothing doesn't mean they won't be there the following week, or every day in July or something equally random.

In saying all of this where there is less shooting/poaching pressure than where I shoot them I've seen them out in fields in broad daylight. Recently I was on the south side of Loch Ness and was completely stunned to see them stand around in fields in daylight and not run if you stopped the car for a look. So, I think the level of shooting pressure is a very significant driver of their behaviour.

A positive note is that sika seem to be able to thrive even under significant shooting/poaching pressure. Here in Ireland roe wouldn't last 15 minutes if they were to be introduced again and reds just about manage to hang on in many areas whereas sika do well and are expanding their range and numbers. So even if the FC think they are hitting them hard it is likely the population is increasing and that the deer will move out to other areas. They will be very careful deer but in your position I'd be hopeful that they are around on your ground for at least short periods each year and, more likely, they are there all the time but the numbers are low and you just haven't seen one yet.
 

pip

Well-Known Member
#4
Firstly, shot placement is the same as all other deer (in proportion of course). Sika are renowned for running, so it's a good idea to have access to a good deer dog.

They behave very much like red deer (they are very similar genetically, to the point that they can and do regularly interbreed, throwing fertile offspring) so anything that works for reds is likely to work well with Sika. They're not that different in behavior to Roe either, except for the herding thing. They are crepuscular (so yes, first and last light is the best time to catch them out and about).

If they have a decent food source, and a good amount of shelter in the large wood, why would they risk 1000m of open ground to get to something smaller and less capable of supporting them? If the numbers in the wood are high then some will undoubtedly have a wander in search of les crowded surroundings, but if the FC guys are keeping numbers down then there may well be no reason for them to wander.
I disagree with your point about them being similar to reds in behavior. Reds are much easier to stalk than sika especially if the sika have been hit hard.
 

Glendine

Well-Known Member
#5
Sika can be very wary if they are shot at. I've no experience of reds in lowland/woodland situations and very little experience of them on the hill so I really can't make any valid comparisons.

Where I shoot them the last half hour of legal shooting time is the only time you'll see them out and about in most places, especially places where you might get a shot at them. However, hinds and small stags can be nosy and this can be their downfall as they will often try to work out what it is that disturbed them. Big stags just run, they don't look back or any of that stuff. However, if they can avoid it none of them will make a habit of coming onto open ground but rather will try to feed in areas within the wood or along the edge so they might only rarely come onto the fields if there is feeding in the wood.

I also believe that they have very good eyesight, they will see you standing still in cover at 300 yards with annoying regularity and I believe one big stag spotted me at 750 yards - a friend and myself were watching him with a spotting scope when he looked straight at us (the wind was good for us) and ran back into the trees. Make of that what you will but we were convinced that he saw us and we were lying in the heather.

I've also found that they like certain places, and dislike others, for no clear reason and they can change their mind and just vanish, they will move considerable distances overnight if they decide to go. Also at some times of they year, seemingly randomly, they can just move to somewhere else and stay for several months. This doesn't help if you are trying to work out a pattern so just because you sit and watch that forest edge for a week and see nothing doesn't mean they won't be there the following week, or every day in July or something equally random.

In saying all of this where there is less shooting/poaching pressure than where I shoot them I've seen them out in fields in broad daylight. Recently I was on the south side of Loch Ness and was completely stunned to see them stand around in fields in daylight and not run if you stopped the car for a look. So, I think the level of shooting pressure is a very significant driver of their behaviour.

A positive note is that sika seem to be able to thrive even under significant shooting/poaching pressure. Here in Ireland roe wouldn't last 15 minutes if they were to be introduced again and reds just about manage to hang on in many areas whereas sika do well and are expanding their range and numbers. So even if the FC think they are hitting them hard it is likely the population is increasing and that the deer will move out to other areas. They will be very careful deer but in your position I'd be hopeful that they are around on your ground for at least short periods each year and, more likely, they are there all the time but the numbers are low and you just haven't seen one yet.
Great post.
 

Cadex

Well-Known Member
#6
Hi Andy, I notice your from Lanarkshire .. I have the lease on a bit of ground in South Lanarkshire..Although no Sika have been shot on it, a staggy was seen by a syndicate member at first light ..And whistling heard by another . ..My understanding was no sika were in the area ...there definitely are a few as one was shot very close to my ground last back end.
 

jamross65

Well-Known Member
#7
I would also agree that Sika are not like reds in habit. In fact they are a law unto themselves and trying to second guess them often does not work, especially with regards to weather and where you would expect them to be.

I would concede if they are established that they may favour a particular crossing point over a fence or ditch so walking round the ground may show signs of larger slots where they are landing after jumping an obstacle.

I would suggest that you try and find such sign to indicate where they have at least been, then spend a few early mornings or late evenings just sitting, watching and waiting. They are often easier got letting them appear in front of you than trying to chase them about the ground.

If you haven't any experience with them, don't be surprised if they run a ridiculous distance after being hit in the chest. If you are certain the shot was on and everything else points to a good strike, just watch for them running and falling as stalkers inexperienced With Sika have a sudden desire to start lacing shots into them as they are running off thinking they have put the bullet somewhere that is less than perfect. I have had spikers make 200m with no heart and having been hit with a 308. It happens.

As mentioned you should have access to a dog regardless of species but if you don't and you lose one give me a shout and I will bring the dog if at all possible.

in a couple of months you may even hear a whistle...
 
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teyhan1

Well-Known Member
#11
It's a good idea when you think you may have Sika to have a walk in the woods where they may come from. This will give you an idea of what they can see.
Your approach should then take this into consideration as they will probably be very spooky after having been shot at by the FC. They will probably only appear at last, last light, and when in winter coat can be very difficult to see against a dark wood.
Down in Dorset we were convinced at one place that they would watch our approach from the woods and wait until it was dark. When we changed our approach they started being shot again.
We have also watched them stick their heads out of bushes before crossing a road to check for traffic.
 
#12
Two points relating to what has been said above, just my views and I'm in no way an expert:

All this stuff about shooting them in the shoulder sounds great. In January I shot a hind and broke both her shoulders. The only reason I took the shot was because there was snow on the ground so I knew I could track her, it was quite a long shot and there was no chance of a head/neck. With both shoulders destroyed (I didn't drag her by the front legs because I was worried they might come off, not that there was any real chance of that) plus pretty serious damage internally she ran 30 yards up a hill on ground that I could barely walk on and even with the help of the snow I walked past her last resting place several times before I discovered she'd wriggled under the lowest branches of a sitka and with the branches and heather was completely invisible. Maybe shooting them in the shoulder works sometimes but don't bet on it as a solution and be careful that it doesn't create more problems than it fixes.

As teyhan says they are cautious before crossing a track, or road or indeed any open ground. Needless to say populations which are rarely shot/poached will be different but ... I've watched them cross a little used forestry track and they will stand well back in the forestry for maybe 5 - 10 minutes just watching. Then they move to the edge of the trees and stick a head out for a good look around, and perhaps a little nibble at some grass. This can go on for several minutes often with only a head popping out now and again. Then they take two big bounces across the track and vanish into the forestry on the other side. Just sometimes they will stop for another bite of grass before they vanish into the trees. They rarely move up or down open areas but rather move in thick cover and cross open areas (tracks, rides etc.) at right angles taking great care each time.
 
#13
Andy7mm I've been thinking about your problem.

I've found that sika like molasses. Maybe it is just the animals I see but they will often come quite a long way if they get a whiff of molasses.

It might be worth getting some sheep/cattle nuts and a bottle of molasses and bait a few sites in the field near the wood. Put the nuts out and then liberally pour some molasses on top, and even a little on surrounding ground or anything else you can think of to spread the smell. Needless to say this needs to be somewhere that livestock can't get to. After a while of doing this, and it might take months, put a trail camera out and see what comes in to the nuts and molasses. Pick your bait sites carefully so there is a suitable post/tree for the camera. Don't put in a new post or similar for the camera as that could chase sika off for months, even the camera may move them on but you usually get some photos before they work out a route to avoid it.
 

dlz90

Well-Known Member
#15
Just out of interest and a question for you caorach, you posted a thread a while back regarding your apparent success on sika with the nosler partition bullet, I would deerly (excuse the pun) like to know if you have any more info/experience with this bullet as regards to loads and results ect and any other thoughts on the same ?


Damian.
 
#16
The best I can say about the Partition is that, so far, I've had good luck with it on sika and some, perhaps the majority of, chest shot deer do go straight down which I've never seen before. However my results are far from significant and probably relate to a maximum of 20 or so deer shot with the Partition. This coming season they might all run 200 yards.

I'm shooting it in a 308Win and found that to get an accurate load I had to ease off from my Hornady Spire Point load, which was my previous deer load. Also the Partition has never been quite as accurate as the Spire Point for me but it will do around an inch at 150 yards if I'm doing my bit, which is rare. I'm using Reloader 15 and while I can get 3000fps with the Spire points I've ended up around 2700fps with the Partitions, all are book loads and none show any pressure signs with good case life limited by my necks splitting rather than pressure related things.

Meat damage has been about what I'd expect and perhaps a little better than with the Spire Points. Sika shot with the Spire Points rarely ran any less than 50 yards.

I've also chest shot two red deer with the Partitions. One hind went down so fast the stalker thought I'd head shot her. The other was a small stag who was on high alert as he'd seen us and he ran probably 30 yards. Far from significant results but enough to reinforce my suspicion that the Partition may put deer down faster than the Spire Points.

I've never recovered a Partition or a Spire Point from a chest shot deer but the one Partition that I have recovered (strange circumstances - head shot shooting down so the bullet was found in the neck) looked like a textbook example of bullet performance.

Cost wise the Partitions are somewhat more expensive than the Spire Points but they both shoot to the same point for me so I tend to use the Spire Points for practise/plinking and the Partitions on deer so in the scheme of things the cost difference is insignificant.

That about sums up my views at present, hopefully it might help you if you are looking at the Partition as an option, but I must highlight that we are talking about limited numbers of deer and certainly nowhere near enough for me to make any definitive statements.
 

stag243

Well-Known Member
#17
I would also agree that Sika are not like reds in habit. In fact they are a law unto themselves and trying to second guess them often does not work, especially with regards to weather and where you would expect them to be.

I would concede if they are established that they may favour a particular crossing point over a fence or ditch so walking round the ground may show signs of larger slots where they are landing after jumping an obstacle.

I would suggest that you try and find such sign to indicate where they have at least been, then spend a few early mornings or late evenings just sitting, watching and waiting. They are often easier got letting them appear in front of you than trying to chase them about the ground.

If you haven't any experience with them, don't be surprised if they run a ridiculous distance after being hit in the chest. If you are certain the shot was on and everything else points to a good strike, just watch for them running and falling as stalkers inexperienced With Sika have a sudden desire to start lacing shots into them as they are running off thinking they have put the bullet somewhere that is less than perfect. I have had spikers make 200m with no heart and having been hit with a 308. It happens.

As mentioned you should have access to a dog regardless of species but if you don't and you lose one give me a shout and I will bring the dog if at all possible.

in a couple of months you may even hear a whistle...
Spot on Jamross, They are nothing like Red Deer, they are the Formula 1 of the Deer world you will be scratching your head then banging it but dont worry we all do it.
 

JAYB

Administrator
Site Staff
#18
I would also agree that Sika are not like reds in habit. In fact they are a law unto themselves and trying to second guess them often does not work, especially with regards to weather and where you would expect them to be.

I would concede if they are established that they may favour a particular crossing point over a fence or ditch so walking round the ground may show signs of larger slots where they are landing after jumping an obstacle.

I would suggest that you try and find such sign to indicate where they have at least been, then spend a few early mornings or late evenings just sitting, watching and waiting. They are often easier got letting them appear in front of you than trying to chase them about the ground.

If you haven't any experience with them, don't be surprised if they run a ridiculous distance after being hit in the chest. If you are certain the shot was on and everything else points to a good strike, just watch for them running and falling as stalkers inexperienced With Sika have a sudden desire to start lacing shots into them as they are running off thinking they have put the bullet somewhere that is less than perfect. I have had spikers make 200m with no heart and having been hit with a 308. It happens.

As mentioned you should have access to a dog regardless of species but if you don't and you lose one give me a shout and I will bring the dog if at all possible.

in a couple of months you may even hear a whistle...
Spot on Brian, Sika are like no other deer we have in the UK, in my opinion they are more wary, tougher completely unpredictable and better tasting than all the rest. Andy7mm you will get "experts" who have never even seen one let alone shot one telling you how to do it but pay attention what Brian has written and you will not go far wrong.

John
 

dlz90

Well-Known Member
#19
The best I can say about the Partition is that, so far, I've had good luck with it on sika and some, perhaps the majority of, chest shot deer do go straight down which I've never seen before. However my results are far from significant and probably relate to a maximum of 20 or so deer shot with the Partition. This coming season they might all run 200 yards.

I'm shooting it in a 308Win and found that to get an accurate load I had to ease off from my Hornady Spire Point load, which was my previous deer load. Also the Partition has never been quite as accurate as the Spire Point for me but it will do around an inch at 150 yards if I'm doing my bit, which is rare. I'm using Reloader 15 and while I can get 3000fps with the Spire points I've ended up around 2700fps with the Partitions, all are book loads and none show any pressure signs with good case life limited by my necks splitting rather than pressure related things.

Meat damage has been about what I'd expect and perhaps a little better than with the Spire Points. Sika shot with the Spire Points rarely ran any less than 50 yards.

I've also chest shot two red deer with the Partitions. One hind went down so fast the stalker thought I'd head shot her. The other was a small stag who was on high alert as he'd seen us and he ran probably 30 yards. Far from significant results but enough to reinforce my suspicion that the Partition may put deer down faster than the Spire Points.

I've never recovered a Partition or a Spire Point from a chest shot deer but the one Partition that I have recovered (strange circumstances - head shot shooting down so the bullet was found in the neck) looked like a textbook example of bullet performance.

Cost wise the Partitions are somewhat more expensive than the Spire Points but they both shoot to the same point for me so I tend to use the Spire Points for practise/plinking and the Partitions on deer so in the scheme of things the cost difference is insignificant.

That about sums up my views at present, hopefully it might help you if you are looking at the Partition as an option, but I must highlight that we are talking about limited numbers of deer and certainly nowhere near enough for me to make any definitive statements.


Thank's for the reply lad and for your findings thus far with the partitions, I like many on here have seen the sika run some after the shot, the partition results you have experienced interests me and I intend to try some just to see what if any difference can be shown, though as you suggest your results are inconclusive but maybe just maybe there is something to it.

My rifle is also in 308 and I currently use hornady interlocks and nosler b/t though I have not yet used the b/t on deer, the interlocks have worked well and so far I have not lost any animals hopefully that record will continue, but I have had runners go 80 yds maybe more though thankfully none into really thick cover, the powders I have had success with are like you RL15 and also varget the partition sounds an interesting diversion from my usual interlock of which I have a good supply but's variety is the spice so to speak...lol


​Damian
 
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Donkey Basher

Well-Known Member
#20
Interesting thread this, I have been lucky enough to stalk Sika on the south coast over the last 12 months or so. After a 'diet' of fallow for 15 years or so i assumed Sika would be a bit like them, how wrong was i...

The first one a saw shot was a friend who took one in reed cover with strips mowed through it between a stream and woodland. He shot it at 75 yards with Norma 150gr Nosler BT factory ammo (308W) - placed the round exactly where i told him to on the shoulder. I watched the bullet impact through my binos and expected the spiker to drop on the spot so was surprised it ran into the reeds.

We left it 15 minutes or so then followed up. Blood on the ground but not a sign of the beastie... followed a trail through the reeds and up to the woodland, left sticks at the entry point then started looking into cover to follow the blood trail, cover got denser and darker as evening drew on and after 200 yards of little spots and bits of torn paper tissue left behind as 'tell tales' we eventually found one very dead spiker.

On another outing the same chap shot another at around 30 yards, it staggered forward a coupe of paces and collapsed. As he reloaded it got back up and ran off... b****y hell!

These guys clearly haven't read the section on reaction to shot in the DSC1 manual...

What fantastic animals they are.
 

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