deer population

The growing deer population: its impact and the options open to us

I have been thinking about the future of deer and their impact in England. With the COVID-19 pandemic and near-annihilation of the venison market, what lies in store for the English deer population and their abundance in the years ahead? Where is the ‘Goldilocks zone’ in the maintenance of deer…

Why the Scottish roebuck are no less mighty

Scotland epitomises the ultimate sporting getaway. Ask any sportsman across the globe and I imagine Scotland will rank highly on their wish list of go-to locations — and rightly so. Over the decades it has established a reputation for offering a friendly welcome to those sportsmen and women making the…

Stalking with a Bavarian mountain hound

We have as good as finished our fallow cull and only plan to take a buck or two before the end of the month if we feel the need. Thankfully, after playing catch-up last year when our fallow cull was considerably higher than normal, we seem to be back to…

Why studying your local roe deer population is essential to good stalking

April is always a busy month for stalkers. This year, it is even more so as we return to post-pandemic normality. It has been particularly nice to welcome regular stalking guests whom we have not seen at Garryloop for more than two years, due to the various restrictions. Demand for…

Roebuck stalking using non-toxic ammo

There are plenty of dates in the stalking calendar that I look forward to. I love stalking does during snowy Highland winters, calling roebucks during their rut in late July and listening to the eerie and haunting whistles of sika stags under an October moon. But if I had to…

Chris Dalton talks about living in the golden age of roebuck

Heading into April, the thoughts of many stalkers turn towards roebucks. It’s one of the most eagerly awaited times of the year, akin to the Glorious Twelfth for keen Shots, and there is very little that can beat the excitement of heading out at first light on 1 April. The…

How the British stalking community is changing

The changing of the clocks brings much-needed longer days for those with ‘normal’ jobs, but spare a thought for full-time stalkers and managers, whose days and stalking times are about to stretch out, sometimes making the whole thing pretty exhausting through the summer months. The end of the season is…

Deer management – Jon Snowdon on details for progress

The deer management group I run has a system that ensures we are always in contact via text when a colleague is on the ground. This information is sent by the individual concerned to every member of the group, and added later to a full report. The following describes the…

Holkham Hall

Deer management: GBSA winner Chris Dalton’s real-world guide

One of things I am constantly being asked about, by both experienced and inexperienced stalkers and, surprisingly, non-stalking B&B guests at Garryloop, is what exactly deer management involves. Now that’s a pretty wide ranging question, but as a primer I thought it would be useful to look at the sort…

Perruque head on doe

What is a perruque head on a deer?

At the end of the rut a yearling buck on my ground was still in dark velvet and showed no signs of drying. The buck has an ear-high four-point head and appears in excellent condition. Is this a perruque and, if so, how long will it take to develop?

carrying a knife for hunting

What’s the law on carrying a knife for hunting?

My son and his friend recently returned home with some un-paunched rabbits. When I asked him why he said they were concerned about carrying a knife in case they were stopped by police.

Sika deer

Deer seasons in the UK. When can deer be hunted?

The deer seasons in the UK have been precisely organised to give deer protection when they need it, to produce a sustainable and healthy population. The law allows hinds and stags to breed and move around different breeding grounds at key times – with the deer hunting season differing between…

ZEISS V8

“This now will be my go-to scope” – the new ZEISS V8

The new improved ZEISS V8 riflescope family is, in our opinion, superb for its purpose. However we wanted to see what an experienced stalker would make of it – with no holds barred. So we gave one to Paul Childerley to try out in the field.  Paul is a gamekeeper,…

Points on stag antlers

Stag antlers: what makes a stag a Royal, an Imperial or a Monarch?

Q: How many points on stag antlers can a red in the wild be expected to grow when it is in good health with a good food supply? And what then makes a stag a ‘Royal’ and an ‘Imperial stag’?  Many things have an impact on the number of points…

deerstalking

Being a better stalker: getting to the next level

Having successfully completed a deerstalking certificate, a stalker’s attention will turn to applying for a UK firearms certificate (FAC), along with accessing land and potentially sourcing a mentor. Covering the FAC first, I will be looking at deer-legal rifles. In the 20 years or so that I have been delivering…

Red stag

Finding the perfect calibre for deer

The UK is blessed to have a selection of deer species, both indigenous and introduced — and vitally important management of deer creates sporting opportunities all around the country. However, with species ranging from red stags weighing up to 190kg to a 10kg muntjac, having a suitable rifle for all…