Stalking on 6 acres?

AlexK

Member
Good Evening All,

I'm not a stalker but I've recently purchased woodland in North Hampshire and I have a deer problem! I want to restore some ash and hazel coppice but deer will likely destroy the regrowth unless their numbers can be controlled first. I've considered fencing but the cost is prohibitive at this stage.

I only own a small section (6 acres) of a much larger block of woodland. There is a green lane along the South boundary. I doubt I could get permission for the surrounding woodland to be stalked on but there is an animal track frequently travelled by deer cutting my plot in half from East to West. With a trail-cam, I recently captured ~20 separate videos of deer travelling along this path over 2 days and nights. Theoretically, if a platform were constructed nearby this track the rifle round would hit the ground rather than continuing to public land / green lane if a shot were missed.

I'm wondering, would it be possible to make use of such a small plot when shooting deer? I appreciate that most stalks take place over much larger areas. If it were possible, I'd happily give free access to the woodland for stalking in exchange for the occasional carcass.

Many thanks for any info.
 

JMikeyH

Well-Known Member
I'm positive someone will take you up on that. Had I more experience I would be throwing myself at it

Sent from my Pixel using Tapatalk
 

VSS

Well-Known Member
Someone will be along shortly, I'm sure. Sounds like a nice little opportunity, plus you'll get some meat in the freezer, everyone happy. Hope it all goes well.
 

John_R

Well-Known Member
It sounds very feasible, I shoot a bit of woodland about 5 acres from time to time. So long as all the usual precautions are met, and no covenants forbid shooting, you should be fine.
 

Tis1979

Well-Known Member
Deer aside, are you going to try Ash would it not be better hornbeam or other broad leaf just thinking of die back interested to hear about it.

Good luck with it
 

Home Loader

Well-Known Member
Have a look at the Forestry commission website as there are several grants out there for woodland restoration. Deer fencing is payed for and realistically the only option for coppice restoration, you will also need some one on hand to deal with the deer that manage to get in!
I’m not that far away if you want to see how we do it ive got approximately 50 acres of coppice both restoration and working rotation.
 

countrryboy

Well-Known Member
U don't mention how big the rest of the woodland is?

As has been said no reason why u can't control deer on ur land esp with the use of high seats or even crops/feeders to attractt them to a safe shoting area.

The ony probem might be if the wood is massive and a high deer density/population they're is only so many deer u can feasably cull and to get decent coppice growth u'll need a far lower density than elsewhere in the wood. (ie if its 5 acres out of a 100+acre wood ur always going to struggle but if 5ac out of 20 ur odds are far better)
Ideally u want to try a get a few owners together and come up with some sort of joint management plan for both the deer and trees
Possibly u could erect some more temperary type fencing round some of ur coppice coup's, even harris type fencing if coups small enough, or even more like a pheasant pen with posts and plastic net. Notreally vaible long term
Be a bit of work but atleast it gets u strated coppicing this season so u can see wot ur trying to achieve in the future

Wot type of deer have u got? as that may affect how long the coppice is vulnerable to them

Ps someone made a very good point about ash and chalra/die back might be worth replacing with something else, althou i think best practice is to continue as normal hoping that some ash may be resistant to it. (Also mgiht be worth checking proper boisecurity measures for walking or using saws on the ground, must admit not familar with it as fortnuately none as far north as this yet!!) Althou from wot i can gather the south everywhere is pretty much affected so boisecurity is a moot point.
 

novice

Well-Known Member
Do you own the deer stalking rights on your land? I only ask as the set up, ownership of a small block of a larger wood, sounds very similar to a particular scheme where the original owner retains all sporting rights on the land.

Thought I'd flag it to avoid any future problems for you or any other member who gets involved with your situation.

Novice
 

VSS

Well-Known Member
Do you own the deer stalking rights on your land? I only ask as the set up, ownership of a small block of a larger wood, sounds very similar to a particular scheme where the original owner retains all sporting rights on the land.

Thought I'd flag it to avoid any future problems for you or any other member who gets involved with your situation.

Novice
Good point.
However, as the landowner I believe he would have the right to control deer to protect his crops (ie, the trees). He couldn't lease the stalking to someone else though. Would have to do it himself, or pay someone to do it.
Definitely something worth checking, just to be sure.
 

The fourth Horseman

Well-Known Member
As the saying goes size doesn't matter. A late friend of mine at one time held the record British roe head, shot in a 3acre coppice surrounded by houses. He also shot a silver medal buck there 5 mins later.
 

sikamalc

Administrator
Site Staff
You will need to find someone with an Open FAC to manage the deer and who is experienced and insured. High seat as said will be required and pointing away from the bridal path.
 

AlexK

Member
Deer aside, are you going to try Ash would it not be better hornbeam or other broad leaf just thinking of die back interested to hear about it.

Good luck with it
Ash dieback is certainly a concern. It seems to be across the whole UK now (except Northern Scotland). I'm not planting any extra due to this but there is a decent quantity of self-seeded ash across one area of my site which I plan to clean up and then coppice, mostly for firewood. With Dutch Elm disease and the future likelihood of extreme weather from global warming I'm looking into long term sustainability of the woodland for centuries to come. At the moment it's mostly beech high forest with a few over stood hazel stools, some birch and the occasional conifer. If something turns up that kills beech it'll be devastating.

The long term goal is to diversify, clear a fair bit of the beech canopy allowing more light into the understory. I'll then promote the ash and hazel as well as add in some oaks, sweet chestnut, hornbeam and perhaps something hopefully more future proof in a changing climate like black locust.
 

AlexK

Member
Have a look at the Forestry commission website as there are several grants out there for woodland restoration. Deer fencing is payed for and realistically the only option for coppice restoration, you will also need some one on hand to deal with the deer that manage to get in!
I’m not that far away if you want to see how we do it ive got approximately 50 acres of coppice both restoration and working rotation.
Good advice, thank you! I didn't realise a grant may be possible. I'll search out my local FC Officer.

A visit to your site would be great if possible, always keen to learn from others
 

AlexK

Member
U don't mention how big the rest of the woodland is?

As has been said no reason why u can't control deer on ur land esp with the use of high seats or even crops/feeders to attractt them to a safe shoting area.

The ony probem might be if the wood is massive and a high deer density/population they're is only so many deer u can feasably cull and to get decent coppice growth u'll need a far lower density than elsewhere in the wood. (ie if its 5 acres out of a 100+acre wood ur always going to struggle but if 5ac out of 20 ur odds are far better)
Ideally u want to try a get a few owners together and come up with some sort of joint management plan for both the deer and trees
Possibly u could erect some more temperary type fencing round some of ur coppice coup's, even harris type fencing if coups small enough, or even more like a pheasant pen with posts and plastic net. Notreally vaible long term
Be a bit of work but atleast it gets u strated coppicing this season so u can see wot ur trying to achieve in the future

Wot type of deer have u got? as that may affect how long the coppice is vulnerable to them

Ps someone made a very good point about ash and chalra/die back might be worth replacing with something else, althou i think best practice is to continue as normal hoping that some ash may be resistant to it. (Also mgiht be worth checking proper boisecurity measures for walking or using saws on the ground, must admit not familar with it as fortnuately none as far north as this yet!!) Althou from wot i can gather the south everywhere is pretty much affected so boisecurity is a moot point.

I don't know the total size exactly but I'd be surprised if it's any less than 100 acres. That's a good point about having limited success if only controlling the deer passing through my plot. A joint management plan would be great but may not be possible because some other owners of nearby plots are very fond of the deer and don't like the idea of shooting them. Also, some of the plots haven't been sold to private owners yet, they're held by an investment company who I assume wouldn't allow stalking other patch.

I've looked into temporary fencing which I'm leaning towards as a short-term measure. My hesitation is I have a badger set within the area to be fenced, I don't want to disturb them if I can avoid it. I also have a foxes as well as other wildlife passing through which I want to keep promoting.

I've not got round to checking every deer on my camera but definitely roe and muntjac seen so far.
 

AlexK

Member
Do you own the deer stalking rights on your land? I only ask as the set up, ownership of a small block of a larger wood, sounds very similar to a particular scheme where the original owner retains all sporting rights on the land.

Thought I'd flag it to avoid any future problems for you or any other member who gets involved with your situation.

Novice
Thanks for bringing this up. I'm lucky as no one else has any access or shooting rights on the land, I own the freehold. There is a covenant on the land which forbids target shooting with a rifle or shooting clays. However, it clearly states shooting for the requirement of pest control so long as done safety and without causing undue annoyance to other woodland owners is permitted.

I feel I have an obligation to control deer numbers on my land because they are causing so much damage.
 

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