Woodland Red Deer VS Hill Deer

matty

Member
Thought I would ask people for their opinion on which is harder to stalk - A wary old Woodland stag or a stag on the Open hill?
 

Salmo Salar

Well-Known Member
Ooh a hornets nest being disturbed here me thinks.....
One way of looking at it might be how high are the hills or how steep are they as that makes a big difference, especially if your carry a bit too much around the waist like I do!
Both are enjoyable and have there own quirks.
I prefer the open hill if as much for the views as anything. If you have a blank on the hill, the day is not completely wasted where as in a forrestry plantation perhaps not quite as thrilling if you blank.
 

sikamalc

Administrator
Site Staff
Yes a hard one to go for this. I have stalked many on the open hill over the years, and a fair number in woodland.

Red Stags in old open forest are a real challenge. Woodland stalking is problamatic in that the wind eddies all the time and is often against you. If the rut is on you can sometimes mark a stag down by his roaring, but then the hinds are often the problem.

Open hill is more demanding physically, where as woodland can be mentally challenging. And if you know your ground well hill stalking can be easier (sometimes). Again wind can play up or another beast in the way you had not spotted can ruin the whole stalk. No two stalks are hardly ever the same.

Both are a marvel and a joy to undertake and I have been very very lucky to enjoy both over many years with or without clients. But if I had to choose I would say stalking stags in a forest environment was harder, and in someways more demanding.
 

bambislayer

Well-Known Member
It makes the hill boys jump and shout a bit , but after doing as much in woodland as on the hill I would say definatly commercial forestry sika and red is the hardest .
Calling Red and Sika in woodland during the rut- most exciting.
The scenery on the hill - outstanding.

It's pretty academic as it's all ******* brilliant.

.
 

Pete E

Well-Known Member
I would have to say Red on the hill are a bit easier forthe simple reason in most woodland situations your working "blind" untill very close to the beast. Also on the open hill, you can often spy a number of beasts and have alternatives ect while in the woods, especially sitka spruce you're often simply not aware of anything not on a ride or in a clearing...
 

irishgun

Well-Known Member
this time of the year you will work for your deer in commercial forestry very nocturnal ,much easier on the hill but harder work ,does that make sense .also on the hill more chance s of multiple kills, more dragging .
 

matty

Member
Interesting to see the views, the reason I ask is that I was Pheasant Shooting last week and a very large red Stag was flushed out of one of the woods, This was in an area where there are not supposed to be any deer!! the keeper said that there are a few starting to creep in from neighbouring counties and that they are very very shy and have only been spotted once or twice over the last few years when out lamping foxes. It was a real treat to see and hope a few ladies move in to keep him company so we can get a resident population.
 

Disco Stu

Well-Known Member
matty said:
Interesting to see the views, the reason I ask is that I was Pheasant Shooting last week and a very large red Stag was flushed out of one of the woods, This was in an area where there are not supposed to be any deer!! the keeper said that there are a few starting to creep in from neighbouring counties and that they are very very shy and have only been spotted once or twice over the last few years when out lamping foxes. It was a real treat to see and hope a few ladies move in to keep him company so we can get a resident population.

A similar thing happend to me the other week in Cumbria. I wasn't expecting such a big red stag to run between me and another beater!!!
 

dlz90

Well-Known Member
Interesting to see the views, the reason I ask is that I was Pheasant Shooting last week and a very large red Stag was flushed out of one of the woods, This was in an area where there are not supposed to be any deer!! the keeper said that there are a few starting to creep in from neighbouring counties and that they are very very shy and have only been spotted once or twice over the last few years when out lamping foxes. It was a real treat to see and hope a few ladies move in to keep him company so we can get a resident population.


It never ceases to amaze me that a large animals such as red deer can live in woodland and surrounding arable land and very few if any people know that they are there at all!!magic :cool:
 

Ronin

Distinguished Member
I was out this eveing looing for end of season hinds.

Spent a good hour watching some real big lads (est 18 stone+) feeding just 80 mtrs from me, mesmerising, shame I didnt have the camera with me.....
 

dlz90

Well-Known Member
I was out this eveing looing for end of season hinds.

Spent a good hour watching some real big lads (est 18 stone+) feeding just 80 mtrs from me, mesmerising, shame I didnt have the camera with me.....

Its things like this that makes it very special and very worthwhile its just getting out there!!!!real magic moments brilliant!!!!!!!:cool:
 

Orion

Well-Known Member
It never ceases to amaze me that a large animals such as red deer can live in woodland and surrounding arable land and very few if any people know that they are there at all!!magic :cool:

Some time ago I was fortunate enough to be part of a couple of red deer radio tagging projects on Exmoor and the Quantocks. The distances that some of the mature stags will go during their annual 'solitary' phase, when they were looking for a bit of peace and quiet, was quite amazing - way beyond what you would expect for their normal range. Same thing for some of the hinds, we had one (not tagged) that appeared each year to calve in a small wood on the Blackdowns which is almost exclusively roe deer territory. To get from the Quantocks she would have had to negotiate Taunton and the M5. Of course a lot of the old country boys have known about this type of thing for ages but keep quiet! ;)

As for hill versus woodland stalking - with the coombes and valleys down here we have woodland hill stalking!
 

Ronin

Distinguished Member
I am extremely fortunate, my main stalking is 20 mins from home and an exceptionaly picturesque area.

Sometimes you get so absorbed watching, times just flies by, it did last night.

As is usually the case, I was after hinds, I saw stags, I was after stags, I see hinds (well not always, but you get the drift)

Once the seasons over, the camera is coming out - making a determined effort this year.
 

bogtrotter

Well-Known Member
Both equally challenging, but completely different, once Reds have become established in woodland their habits become more
like Roe feeding at dawn & dusk.

A lot of rutting activity takes place during the hours of darkness the forest becoming silent during the day more so if there is any
disturbance in the forest be it stalking, walkers, timber operations, or whatever.
This is to be expected as Red Deer natural habitat is woodland, they only took to the open hill when the great forests were felled.
 
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