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,…

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…

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…

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…

Internal view of a rifle

Rifle safety

Safety On ranges, carry your rifle barrel up – if a round is fired towards the ground, there is a danger of ricochet. Always check after firing that your chamber is clear, and remove the bolt once you have finished firing your rounds. Many ranges insist on breech flags to show…

fox in field

Keeping livestock safe

On a Friday in February, I waited at my burger van for Tony Jones to arrive from Yorkshire for what would hopefully be another enjoyable weekend of foxing. As usual, the weather was absolutely rotten: cold and raining, with high winds. I usually finish work at 1pm but, with the…

roe rut

English and Welsh roe review 2015

Numbers of roe from England and Wales measured in 2015 were again up on the previous year. Having measured more than 250 heads in 2014, we were presented with just over that number this year. The quality was not quite as good as we have seen in the past —…

Chinese water buck

UK other species review 2015

Many stalkers will be aware of some of the changes that have taken place over the past 12 months with the introduction of the CIC’s Handbook for the Evaluation and Measurement of Hunting Trophies. The changes for roe deer are few and have been easily assimilated; those for other European species have been…

English and Welsh roe review 2016

Scottish roe review 2015

There are two aspects of trophy roe from Scotland that remain consistent. The first is the overall numbers that are presented for evaluation; the second the locations whence they come. Last year proved to be no exception, with the eastern side of the country producing the pick of the trophies, and…

deer stalking

How to avoid being seen, smelled or heard when stalking deer

Lately I was asked: “What do you consider the most important technique that should be put into practice while deerstalking?” I have to say the question found me a little off guard. At the time I was giving a DSC1 lecture on roe deer and it wasn’t the question I was expecting.…

High Seat

How to use a high seat for deer culling

There are plenty of stalkers who poo-poo the notion of using a high seat: “That’s not stalking,” they say, “you’re not using any fieldcraft.” They do have a point. However, high seats can be one of the most useful tools in culling deer. They give you the chance to observe what is on a patch of ground,…

Men deerstalking

Why land reform risks wiping out Scotland’s deer

Scotland’s Parliament has the devolved power to deal with land reform and land ownership, with the path to reform inevitable. But are the current proposals — which include the ending of tax relief for sporting estates and forced sales if owners block economic development — the best way forward for…