Which Roe Bucks to Take

Heym SR20

Well-Known Member
Am interested in any thoughts on choice of bucks to take - ie what selection criteria do you use before squeezing the trigger. Thoughts prompted by Wayne Davis's video of a very nice looking buck - I would have possibly left it on the basis that it has a nice symetrical head that given a few years could be an even better trophy, and in the meantime his DNA will get spread around.

The obvious cull beasts are:

1) Sick or injured beasts

2) Very old animals going back

But it is the younger smaller beasts where my questions arise. Should you,

1) Leave them to get bigger, and if they push out / displace the bigger older beasts then that's natural selection taking place

2) Take any you see, on the basis that you do need to cull say 10 or 15% just to keep the population stable and its difficult enough spotting bucks, let alone getting into them for a safe and certain shot. And if you take out one buck, you are leaving plenty of space for others to come in.

3) Take any with scruffy heads, bent antlers etc and leave the good ones.

4) or as another friend puts it - take anything that is half decent on the basis that if you don't somebody else will and you will only ever see a fraction of what is actually on the ground.


Well-Known Member
Hi Heym, I think it depends on how big your patch of ground is and whether you have neighbours who are like minded.

With the cull beasts I tend to take everything that is poor, very old, too young, sick or just 'not right'. I'll leave some that show promise and will not shoot good middle aged beasts. You should achieve your cull numbers by doing the same and if you haven't got your numbers then you can be selective with what you take from the rest of the population.

A friend has been doing it this way for three years now on a large patch of ground and the quality of the stock is improving. When he went there the previous tenant had shot pretty much all the bucks so there was a nice base line to work from.

With the big fellas I take the view that if I don't shoot him then I will be happy I took that decision as he will pass on his genes. If someone else does then thats up to them but I don't have to live with their conscience and I don't really want a silver or bronze on my wall and then think 'well if I'd left it it would have been better and would have sired may good fawns'

Each to their own



Nick Gordon

Well-Known Member
Good afternoon, Heym,

Another factor is the type of ground you stalk.

The ground I stalk is a forestry block surrounded by a red deer fence and which was planted in two sections a number of years apart both of which are now well past their best for roe.

Because of the height of the ground and the feeding, it has not produced anything other than "scrap" - six pointers yes but nothing above 40lbs into the dealer :cry:

When the tress were still subject to grants, the land manager instructed me to shoot as many bucks and does as I could on the basis that, from his experience both as a manager and as a stalker, I would only be lucky if I shot one in four deer in the wood at that time.

I did leave some "good" bucks but never saw them again.