New Forest Sika

JH83

Well-Known Member
#1
Hello all,

I went walking in the New Forest on Saturday, not specifically to see the deer but it was certainly an added bonus. I had no idea how many Sika are there!

There were two things of note; firstly they seemed tame in that they were happy to stand and watch us (at around 30 yards) for as long as we wanted. Are they tame or wild, and are they culled?

Second, the Stag was huge, 13 points and beams the thickness of my wrist, yet looked pure Sika, do they have some red in them? He seemed to be staying with a group of hinds like a red stag in the rut-this cant be normal behaviour as I thought they lived in seperate groups like reds.

Whilst walking this weekend (also in the Chilterns) I have seen and watched Sika, Fallow, Roe and Munts. Has anyone done the clean sweep ie all 6 species? If so where (not Woburn!)?

ATB

JH
 

tartinjock

Distinguished Member
#2
Sika

I am part of a very well run syndicate that borders the New Forrest, I can assure you that the Sika on the ground I shoot are not tame. Deer will, if not disturbed, be happy for general backround noise. Wait untill you have a rifle with you, a cocktail stick at 400m will move them on, still, that's part of the sport "Stalking"not "Shooting".
 

The Mole

Well-Known Member
#3
jameshodgson said:
Has anyone done the clean sweep ie all 6 species? If so where (not Woburn!)?
You couldn't do the 6 at Woburn anyway - there are no roe there, and the sika are Manchurian not Jap so they wouldn't count .....

I've been racking my brains (or what the Lagavulin has left of them) and can't think of anywhere outside a park where you have a fair chance of seeing all 6. Unless there are any sika in Norfolk or thereabouts? It's the CWD that make it a difficult challenge.
 

JH83

Well-Known Member
#4
TJ,

I thought they were wild, I just have never seen wild deer so complacent around people, literally sat 20-30 yards hardly batting an eyelid. They must be very used to people. I appreciate though that with a rifle they would be different.

The stag was magnificent, I did not realise they got to that size.

JH.
 

sikamalc

Administrator
Site Staff
#6
I have had a number of clients take all 6 species in 14 to 16 days with me, all wild unfenced. However the only time you stand a reasonable chance is in September, which is now not possible because of the season on Chinese Water Deer :cry:

My Chinese are in Bedfordshire, Roe I have in Sussex, Oxfordshire, Wiltshire, Northumberland and Scotland, Fallow Northumberland, Northampotonshire, Sika Scotland and Northamptonshire, Muntjac Bedforshire Northamptonshire, European Red Northumberland, Scottish Red, Scotland, east and west coast.

Sika in Dorset and the new forest always seem more settled to me than the Scottish ones. But they are cunning deer, with very much a sixth sense. I still hold the 5th SCI position for the largest Scottish Sika Stag with a client from the States, wild and unfenced, and not a hybrid. It only weighed 85lbs clean, but had a massive head. It was called out with a whistle during the rut. That was back about 10 years ago I think :rolleyes:
 

tartinjock

Distinguished Member
#7
Sika

They are a beautiful Deer, the Stags. My shoot has at least 4 big old boys, not to be shot yet though. It's run by Cervus, "Good Egg", but getting "Old" now.

That will be me struck off the syndicate now, only kidding Cervus.....!!
 

stone

Well-Known Member
#8
jameshodgson said:
Has anyone done the clean sweep ie all 6 species? If so where (not Woburn!)?

ATB

JH
hi james
i hav shot all six in the same year but did five in the same month all within 1 1/2 hour of my home (my driving that is )
i had to travel to argyll for sika for the 6th
 

paul k

Well-Known Member
#9
jameshodgson said:
Second, the Stag was huge, 13 points and beams the thickness of my wrist, yet looked pure Sika, do they have some red in them? He seemed to be staying with a group of hinds like a red stag in the rut-this cant be normal behaviour as I thought they lived in seperate groups like reds.
Sika readily hybridise with reds in Scotland and Ireland and this has occasionally occured in the New Forest. Peter Carne records that the ranges of the sika and reds seldom overlap but where sika get over the railway line that seems to form the boundary between the two species they are quickly culled out to keep the two species separate. Also any sika stag that starts to show interest in red hinds anywhere in the forest is also culled out before hybridisation can occur.

It is possible that the stag you saw was the result of one that slipped through the net as 13 points is really exceptional for a pure sika stag.

Whilst walking this weekend (also in the Chilterns) I have seen and watched Sika, Fallow, Roe and Munts. Has anyone done the clean sweep ie all 6 species? If so where (not Woburn!)?

ATB

JH
As sikamalc and The Mole say the limiting factor is the CWD and any chance would have to be in a CWD area. The only areas which contain CWD are short at least one of the other species. Norfolk might offer the best chance of five species but sika are not recorded there.

All six species are present or have been recorded in recent years in Bedfordshire but sika, roe and red are very scarce and your chances of seeing any of these are remote.

The best that I have done is to see wild sika, fallow, muntjac and roe within a couple of hours whilst stalking on an estate in Sussex and a red hind out in a field a few miles away on the way home.

I also once had a lunch on a pheaant shoot that was a venison stew including red, roe, fallow, muntjac and CWD.
 

JH83

Well-Known Member
#10
That is kind of what I assumed, but I gather CWD are spreading out into Northampton and other counties so who knows, eventually it may be a possibility?

The deer certainly looked all Sika in the face and body, but he really was a big old boy. Lovely to see. As we walked to the car in the evening we saw a young stag and 2 hinds, and I swear he looked at us and angrily stamped his foot!

The strange thing was that the deer seemed to be in groups of several hinds and a stag, almost like in the rut-is this normal?

I have only shot red, roe, fallow and munts till now but I suppose plenty of time to add the others. I would love a representative of each for the wall.

ATB
 

sikamalc

Administrator
Site Staff
#11
CWD are on the edge of Northamptonshire, or at least from the Oundle village end. I drive past that way every year with clients from my area near Woburn, and I have seen Chinks past the Oundle area and only about 6 miles from the Northants border.

They are probably already in the county, but I have not heard of any being taken yet, but I have no doubt someone probably has. I have a very good friend whos ground I stalk Munties on in Northants, and he has not heard of any Chinks yet being taken, but give it time ;)

I have also stalked Chinks on the Cambridgeshire fens, and was on there last year. They grow a very tall tough grass, (similar to Elephant grass) in blocks for biofuel, bloody chinks love it, but they are difficult to get to, so its a waiting game :rolleyes:
 

sandersj89

Well-Known Member
#12
sikamalc said:
I have also stalked Chinks on the Cambridgeshire fens, and was on there last year. They grow a very tall tough grass, (similar to Elephant grass) in blocks for biofuel, bloody chinks love it, but they are difficult to get to, so its a waiting game :rolleyes:
The tall grass is Miscanthus, lots grown down in Devon now as well. Great for game birds.

Jerry
 

NickJ

Well-Known Member
#13
Hi James
I can confirm that the Sika in the New Forest certainly are wild and are culled by the 2 FC keepers (I worked with them 15 years ago) whose beats they reside upon as well as the neighbouring Beaulieu and Exbury estates. To me, as a species they do seem less suspicious of people - and dare I say it easier to cull, that's based on only a couple of dozen outings in Inverness-shire and Argyllshire though. I wonder what other people think?

The Bournemouth-Southampton railway line seperates the Reds (north) from the Sika (south).

They are good quality (perhaps not as good as the Purbeck stags I've seen) but 8 points is the norm, I knew the herd very well and never saw more points than 10 so this fellow sounds an exception.

You could stalk Muntjac, Roe, Red, Sika & Fallow in the New Forest, I have shot all five within a month there!
 

JAYB

Administrator
Site Staff
#14
I find the Sika that I have on my ground, in fact all of the Sika I have come into contact with to be very wary and canny. I have even known them to drop down and crawl off, getting up and running away a good few yards off. The only time I have ever known the stags to lower their guard a bit is when the rut is full on, then they get a bit silly.

John
 

Boghossian

Well-Known Member
#15
I'm with JayB, I find sika to be the hardest to cull with more outings per beast than fallow/red/roe. I do not have much experience on culling munties though.
 

sikamalc

Administrator
Site Staff
#16
Hmmm who said Sika are easy :rolleyes: Not in my book, and after 25 years of chasing the little buggers I can tell you that out of all the British deer they will take more punishment than any other species, and are the most cunning and alert.

Sure I have had them stand at 12 noon and look at me, that happens now and again. But always without a rifle in your hand :rolleyes: or at least with me it is.

I have had clients use 243 :eek: too small really, 270, 30,06, 25.06, 303, 30.30, 308, 300, 338 calibres, and of all the deer I have lost with clients it is always Sika, and this is about 6 deer over 25 years.

Please can I have some tame ones ;) Hey JAYB hows that Stag for Mr B coming along. Looks like he is running around with the crazy gang these days :lol:

Wait for the incoming ;)
 

Beowulf

Well-Known Member
#17
Last time I spoke to JayB he said Raymond the Sika Stag was doing just fine, But that was before the threads about shooting deer in the head and the shooting beasts with a 22LR. Don't get any ideas JayB! Raymond is your friend! :lol:
 

NickJ

Well-Known Member
#19
I think I've just encountered some Sika populations who see a lot of people and grow used to them, indeed everyone else seems to say they make hard stalking.

I remember someone talking about chasing them in bracken beds on the West coast of Scotland and the only chance you had was when they popped up and had a quick look at you before they scarpered.
 

sikamalc

Administrator
Site Staff
#20
Its true of all deer. they get used to seeing people and not being disturbed they loose a certain amount of in built fear. And some of the better feeding is around human habitation.

My friend in Rochester, New York State, who i have stayed with on numerous occassions, has Whitetail in his garden. They come right up to the deck on his house and eat his wifes prize plants out of the tubs at midday !!!! And because you cannot discharge a firearm within the town limits and it is out of season, they have hardly any fear of humans.

But put them in a local forest with hunting season underway, and its a whole new ball game :rolleyes:

Along the west coast road above Ullapool the Red Deer when out of season and during the summer months come right down to the road sides sometimes. Especially near a certain hotel near the road, they have very little fear of humans and of course the grazzing is good. Go back up later when the season is open and the rut is coming on, and again its no comparison to what you may have seen a few months before ;)
 

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