Q: I have recently started stalking for muntjac in woods close to my home. What do you think is the most successful time of day to stalk, morning or evening?
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 activity was monitored with camera traps at Monks Wood and Woodwalton Fen national nature reserves, it was found that there were peaks of activity for three hours before dusk and two hours afterwards, while at dawn the activity levels were much lower. Regular stalking tended to decrease activity at dusk and increase activity at night. The honest answer therefore is that you should do what works best for you. GD