Park Culling

Danny

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I have just recieved an email confirming that I have the secured the lease for culling in a large Park in the South East.

Now I was going to buy a new rifle if I got this permission the question is what to get.

When I did my DSC1 last year the instructor was using an RPA .243 and recommended using ballistic tips.

I liked the RPA but am not sure about the .243 being up to shooting some of the big stags and bucks that eed to come out.

You collective advice would be welcomed

Danny
 

IanF

Well-Known Member
Danny

If you are intending head shooting, then the flat trajectory of the .243 will be an advantage and well suited to the shorter ranges encountered in the majority of park culls. Point and shoot from suitable rested position.

If body shooting well fed and large framed stags and bucks, then I would tend to share your concerns and go for a larger calibre. A 150gn+ 30 cal will offer sufficient penetration and energy transfer to meet your needs here in the UK.

With suitable bullets, the same rifle is good for 99% of species world-wide. Maybe a valid consideration if there is a chance of you travelling to hunt abroad - or gaining access to Wild Boar hereabouts.

Rgds Ian
 

Danny

Account Suspended
Ian thanks,

A couple of follow on questions

What are the typical distances that head shots are taken at in a park.

Why does appear to be bad form to body shot in a park?
 

Tee2

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Danny

I must say this is the first time ever that I have heard of anyone securing a lease to cull park deer. Perhaps some of the other long time stalkers posting might have heard of such an occurrence.

Culling park deer is not as some might believe particularly enjoyable or taxing. Even in a large park. Most park deer culls are selective processes (especially if it entails any of our larger species) requiring the selected beast to be accurately head shot, in order to reduce stress in the unselected deer and to maximise carcase yield.

A .243 using hunting as opposed to varmint shooting designed BT heads would fit the requirements pretty well.
 

IanF

Well-Known Member
Danny

As per T2 above, leasing the right to cull park deer is unusual.

I have normally shot at distances of less than 120m - it very much depends on your preferred cull technique/cull numbers.

Do you expect to be shooting from a vehicle - or stalking / moving deer past high seats to meet your cull?

Due to confined area, some of the concerns relating to head shooting are reduced, however, herding species will tend to band up if a threat is perceived - often a head shot may be the only opportunity presented by an alert herd.

If you are not financially penalised for body shooting - then a body shot is always the most certain option, and the one you should employ if not 100% confident of your ability or zero.

Rgds Ian
 

basil

Distinguished Member
Wasn`t this what skycops was about? Stalkers legitimately culling park deer?
basil.
 

Monkey Spanker

Well-Known Member
Park Deer

I think you will find when you get down to it that they will insist on head shot animals for the reasons Tee2 gives above. If that is the case, accuracy is probably more of an issue than calibre and one of the flatter shooting smaller rounds such as .243, 6.5x55, or 25.06 will be better as they are all more than capable and without the drop you will get with a .308 or similar. They will probably be Fallow which have an annoying tendency to bunch up and overlap when you least need it! Beware of the fragmentation from a Ballistic tip as you may well hit more than the intended one if this happens. Elevated shooting positions will be an advantage is possible. Is it woodland or open pasture or maybe a mixture? Be carefull not to take too much on at once and stress them out. Shooting a 'lead' animal first may help to split them into smaller more manageable groups too. If you need a hand I am also in the South East!! ;)
 

The Mole

Well-Known Member
It would be interesting to know what deer species are involved, and just how used to humans they are - as a general rule, fallow tend to be the most skittish, followed by sika. Reds are relatively laid-back. In some parks, the deer are more like semi-feral - wary of humans, but more tolerant than wild deer. What are the park conditions you will be working under - such as size, public access etc?

If you are doing sizeable culls in a closely enclosed area, the deer tend to bunch up as soon as they know that something unpleasant is going on - and then serious accuracy is needed. For this reason a .243 can be helpful but, as others have said, not if you're going to be chest shooting large reds or similar. For these something larger - with maximum energy at the target end - might be more sensible.

Very often, however, head shooting becomes the only option as these may be the only targets available after the first cull or two. At least within an enclosed area, you have the opportunity to put things right if you do mess up a shot - something that you probably won't get with wild deer and which is why head shooting them is not an acceptable option.

Tee2 is right in saying that park culling is not enjoyable, but it can be hard work and demand very high standards of marksmanship. And don't forget the challenges of being in the public eye if the park isn't private!
 

Tee2

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Re: Park Deer

Monkey Spanker said:
Beware of the fragmentation from a Ballistic tip as you may well hit more than the intended one if this happens.
Surely it the other way around isn't it? BT's especially those Hunting designed variety will penetrate the skull and dump their energy where as les frangible bullets may well exit either partially intact or intact.
 

Monkey Spanker

Well-Known Member
Most bullets will exit with a head shot at close range and if they are not close then you shouldn't be head shooting anyway!!
Less frangible rounds will as you say stay intact and continue on roughly the same path. Ballistic tips I find tend to migrate a bit. That said though, i have had occasions of no exit with a BT. It will be interesting to see others views on this point alone? I also suspect much will depend upon the size of the animals in question.
 

Tee2

Account Suspended
Head shooting and range is a whole other can of worms and not one I'd be interested in opening. Well not on here anyway!

Picking the correctly designed BT for the intended purpose is the main thing.
 

Andy L

Well-Known Member
Have done a bit of this myself with Park Fallow. Fantastic experience and bloody knackering. As everyone has said, it is not something that you necessarily enjoy but is something everyone should try to experience at least once.
I used a Remington BT in my .243 for culling. I felt they were perfect for the job and very accurate through my Sauer.
If you are going to do some serious culling get yourself a back support!! :lol:
 

hairybiker

Well-Known Member
I recently did some culling of park deer with my 243, head shots and 85 grain Sierra Gameking hollow point (Federal premium) did the job a treat. Must say that I have concerns about the ballistic tips though, had very variable results through my 7mm Rem Mag, including no exit on a hind chest shot at about 90 yards. They were 150 grainers and I have given up with them now, gone for 160 grain Winchesters with Nosler bullets instead - end of problem :D
 

Andy L

Well-Known Member
Totally agree. I have found the BTips are fine for head and neck which is all the park culling that I have done. I would not use them for chest shots.
For head and neck shots, you want them to expend as much energy as possible and they certainly do that. Not always the prettiest site you could see but effective.
 

Heym SR20

Well-Known Member
If you are having to take head shots, accuracy is the key and you need to shoot whatever bullet shoots the most accurately in your chosen rifle.

With a head shot only ever take a shot if it is looking straight at you, or preferrably directly away from - you are thus guaranteed to hit the vital brain / spinal column even if you are slightly out - or you miss completely.

You have about a three inch target - size of a coffee cup and for most good rifles off a solid rest this shouldn't be an issue out to 100 yds.

A sideways head shot is a very small target and youcan easily be slightly outand taek out the jaw which is not a killing shot - if this is all that presents then go for the neck or body.

My preference if going for a head or neck shot is to have somebody backing you up - you shoot for the head - they are sighted on the body shot. If beast doesn't immediatly fall they can put one straight inot the boiler room.

With any shot on the spinal colum / brain immdiatly reload and be prepared for the animal jumping up - you can sometimes be slightly out which knocks the animal out, but it then comes to with no apparent side effects.

Calibre - .243 good flat shooting especially with 80gn bullets. I would go for a deer bullet rather than an out and out varmint bullet though so that you have the penetration for a body shot.

I have seen hinds head shot with varmint bullets - the results are certain, but messy.

25-06 - can shoot 120 gn bullets and has bit more thump for bigger deer. Agree with all the sentiments re 30 calibre, but .243 ha killed more than enough big reds provided you put one in the right place. True, it may not knock the beast of its feet at the shot, and you the beast will run 20 /30yds but it is still dead.
 

Jagare

Well-Known Member
For over 20years i culled park Fallow. All were neck shot. I used 165grn Ballistic tips in my .308. Just a personal view i would never take head shots.
 

irishgun

Well-Known Member
i cull a lot of sika hinds and calfs at nite with a 243 using federal ballistic tips 95gr and 70grs. we found the 70grs to be the better bullet for head and necking ,they really sweep deer of there feet keeping ranges under 100m . using the 95s the bullet did not open up on the odd deer ,be warned under no circumstances shoot a animal in the face ,nose . the 25,06 using 100gr ballistic tips is also excellent .
 

cervushunter

Well-Known Member
irishgun
glad someone warned about where to hit in the head!
never shoot face on wait until beast is looking away or to the side a light bullet face on to a deer could glance off the top of the skull!!!!
just a note for some of the novices reading this thread really.
cervushunter
 

The Mole

Well-Known Member
Hate to disagree with cervushunter, but if you really must take a head shot, don't shoot at at the side - a misplaced bullet can take away the lower jaw or nasal passages without any immediate lethal effect. Facing towards or away from the shooter are the only options. I've never experienced a bullet ricocheting off the top of the skull - and I use a .243 100 grain for park work.

I'd also advise a slightly high point of aim as well - imagine the centre of a cross from the base of the ears across to opposite eyes. A shot that goes high will either poleaxe or miss clean, and there's still margin for error if it goes a bit low.

Having said all that, I must restate that head shots are for special circumstances (eg confined deer) only. They are totally inappropriate for wild deer - if something goes wrong, the chances are that you'll never catch up with the animal to put things right.
 

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