deer stalker

Deer stalking is a sporting pastime, but it is also essential to protect forestry and valuable agricultural crops. Deer breed prolifically and suffer from starvation and disease unless they are culled.

To this end, landowners and stalkers usually work in close co-operation with one another to create a plan that balances the welfare of the deer against the damage they can cause if allowed to breed unchecked.

The responsible stalker will know and understand all the laws applicable to the sport and will act with safety as a primary concern. Shooting UK regularly publishes articles from a pool of deer stalking experts covering every aspect of stalking including: safety, rifles, ammunition, equipment, clothing, techniques and finally some recipes for venison dishes. You can read them here with regular updates.

Scopes

We review the best scopes for under £350 – which was the winner?

The 3-12x56mm scope, with its good range of magnification settings and 56mm objective lens size allowing plenty of light to enter the scope for low-light situations, 
is ideal for a wide range of hunting and target situations, whether that be vermin control, foxing or deer management. Three of the four…

deerstalking male deer

Do I need a qualification to stalk?

A: The straightforward answer is that you do not require a formal qualification to go stalking. While many people who stalk have undertaken training and successfully completed the DSC at level 1 and level 2, there are many who stalk who have not. Knowledge of a wide range of topics Stalking is a complex sport, requiring skills,…

English and Welsh roe review 2016

UK other species review 2016

There is often debate among the UK hunting fraternity about the status of introduced species and the application of the CIC formulae to them. This comes from the concern as to whether introduced ungulates are truly wild in nature or because of the way man has manipulated their existence, they…

taking a shot

When should you take the shot?

  Leaving aside the stalking skill, knowledge of the quarry, correct rifle mount, stability of position, breath control and all the other disciplines needed for an accurate shot, what do I wait for in those few seconds before the message is despatched to squeeze the trigger? Period of calm With the scope crosshairs on the target,…

English and Welsh roe review 2016

English and Welsh roe review 2016

One of the things that I enjoy about measuring trophies for the CIC is when a hunter, either because he’s just shot something bigger than normal or has been encouraged by a friend to have a head assessed, finds that with little understanding of the measuring process he ends up…

English and Welsh roe review 2016

Scottish roe review 2016

Roebuck seasons come and go, remembered by stalkers for many reasons — a first buck, a trophy scored, an atypical animal, a new rifle or permission or, for very few, the trophy of a lifetime. It has been said on many occasions that, in terms of the quality of its roe,…

Stag antlers

How many points?

A: There are many variables which impact on the number of points, or tines on stag antlers, that individual stags will develop. These include the animal’s genetics, the environment it lives in and its access to good nutrition. Genetics, nutrition and environment Wild European red deer, of which our natives are a subspecies, rarely exceed 16 points…

Muntjac deer

What’s the best time of day to stalk muntjac?

A: My preference is for a morning stalk. There is less disturbance in the countryside from walkers, farmworkers and so on, and an early start enables me to make the best use of the day. Plus it is a delight to be out in the countryside as dawn breaks. Scientic research tells the opposite story, however. When muntjac…

Deer seasons for red deer

2016 deer seasons

Red deer England and Wales: Aug 1-April 30 (stags) Nov 1 – Mar 31 (hinds) Scotland: July 1-Oct 20 (stags) Oct 21-Feb 15 (hinds) Northern Ireland: Aug 1-April 30 (stags) Nov 1-March 31 (hinds)   Sika deer England and Wales: Aug 1-April 30 (stags) Nov 1 – March 31 (hinds)…

Ibex

Ibex stalking in the Spanish Gredos Mountains

I have just returned from the most amazing, challenging, physically testing, at times frightening and most enjoyable hunting experience of my life, bar none. Through a good friend, David Pantlin, I had been invited to hunt Iberian ibex on an estate in the Gredos Mountains, 200km west of Madrid in Spain. I have often flown over the mountains…

deer stalkers

Steps to a successful stalk

In the first part of this feature – How to think like a deer –  I looked at why considering how a deer uses its senses, and how this can impact on its behaviours, can help to make you a successful stalker. So, bearing this in mind, how can this inform your stalking in practice? Every…

red deer

In praise of the Scottish red deer

There can be a bit of head scratching as to what is a native Scottish red deer. It is not entirely straightforward and over the years has been further confused by man’s interference, “improving” the local population by adding genes to provide sport and in doing so diluting the purity of the native animal. Plus, of course, red deer…

red stags

8 of the best places to stalk red stags in Scotland

Stalking red stags in Scotland is a bucket-list experience for most stalkers. One of the country’s most majestic animals, the red deer is Scotland’s largest native land mammal and one of its most sought-after sporting trophies. The majority are found in the Scottish Highlands and islands, and there is a wide variety of stalking ground and accommodation options to…

A.A. Gill

A.A. Gill in the hot seat

Did you have a crack at the stags last year? “Yes I did. I haven’t missed a year for probably the last 12, no… maybe 15 years; something like that.” Do you go to the same estate each year? “I do. The estate is Letterewe, which is on the further side of…

deer stalking

Highlands v Lowland stalking. What’s best?

Stalking in the Highlands By Ben Samuelson I don’t mean to be rude, but I’m rather hoping that Giles has done the decent thing and left the space below completely blank. How can sitting in a tennis umpire’s chair at horribly early o’clock to wait for something that is as…

wild boar

Is shooting wild boar in the UK legal?

A: Wild boar are now establishing themselves in viable populations in several parts of southern England, so providing you are shooting with the permission of the landowner, it is quite legal. Boar do not have any close season but should be treated with the same respect that you would any quarry. Do not…

Red deer

Open seasons for deer

Here is our list of open seasons for the various species of deer when you can go out stalking. (Dates are inclusive.) Red Stags England and Wales: 1 August – 30 April Scotland: 1 July – 20 October Northern Ireland: 1 August – 30 April Red hinds England and Wales:…

deerstalking in Scotland

How to think like a deer

Did you know that deer have six senses? They share with us those of sight, sound, smell, taste and touch or feeling, but there’s an extra. The vomeronasal organ is based in the roof of the mouth and is an important one to consider when stalking. You may have spotted a…

Deer population

Deer population: How do we control numbers across the UK?

We are currently in the grips of what is known as an “exponential deer population increase”. To put it another way, we’re in a situation where many areas have damaging numbers of deer. The important questions here are how and to whom or what are large numbers of deer causing…

Cull buck

What makes a cull buck?

April can be the critical month of the year for deerstalkers and roebucks alike. The start of the new season brings anticipation for what it will hold, confirmation or frustration about decisions made in seasons past, and for many a desire to get off the mark and grass the first buck…