deer in garden

Shooting deer near houses. Is it legal?

Q: We’ve all heard of the proliferation of the deer population over the last few years. Where I live muntjac are starting to be a real nuisance in local gardens. My neighbours know that I go deer stalking and have asked me to come over to do something about controlling…

lightweight rifles

Best lightweight rifles – we test a selection

I was two-thirds the way up ‘the Ben’ and puffing some when my companion started. “You should get a lightweight rifle, like mine,” he said. At that moment any rifle would have been too heavy, but I refrained from replying that maybe the 40-year difference in our ages ought to…

using a thermal imager

How to use thermal imagers safely

Before using a thermal imager The human brain learns from birth to process a colourful, bright visual world.  Our brains subconsciously assess distance, speed, size and the many other factors we see 24 hours a day. So it is key to take the time to get naturally acquainted with the…

Red stag

How many antler points can a stag grow? And what are they called?

Q: How many points can a red stag in the wild be expected to grow when they are at their best in this country? And when it comes to stag antlers, what makes a  a ‘Royal’ and an ‘Imperial stag’?  There are many variables which impact on the number of points…

Sika deer

Why sika deer are posing a threat to our native reds

Sika deer and Coco Chanel When I say ‘invasive non-native species’ the first thing to spring to your mind may be mink, the American signal crayfish or Rhododendron ponticum. It probably isn’t Coco Chanel. A keen angler and worthy of more Shooting Times column space than I can offer, Chanel…

Stalking sika deer in Sutherland, Scotland

An early morning stalk in a snowy landscape. The stalkers discuss tactics and survey the horizon. A small herd of sika is quickly sighted and one of the number despatched. Sika were introduced in 1860 from the Far East and need careful management to protect the local habitat. The film…

Viking roe deer

Stalking roe deer

An early morning stalk on a glorious day in North Yorkshire, that takes the stalkers through waist-high corn fields through to the deep cover of a broad leaf forest, after the quarry. One clean shot and the deer is ready to be gralloched and taken home for butchering.

Stalking Chinese water deer

Chinese water deer established themselves in England in 1929, after escaping from a private park. The species has been successful and today Britain is home to 10% of the world’s Chinese water deer population. The stalker cautiously tracks a Chinese water deer with the essential skills of silence, stealth and…

Stalking red deer in Skye

A day stalking red deer on a 23,000 acre estate in Skye, with the stalkers striding through streams, wading rivers, clambering over rocky terrain, crawling across moorland and through boggy reeds. If you’ve been stalking before you’ll be familiar with the readying of kit, the atmosphere of growing anticipation and…

culling hinds

Lead alternatives for deer stalkers

Investigating lead alternatives for deer The lead versus non-toxic debate is nothing new to those of us actively involved in the management of deer. This isn’t going to be an in-depth technical analysis of the minutiae of bullet design. It is an insight into my experiences using various non-toxic rounds…

Deer stalkers scanning the hill

14 popular rifles for deer stalking

Our experts have reviewed 14 rifles for deer stalking that have proven popular and ranked highly with our reviewers. Choosing a calibre Consider the calibre that will fit your deer species  — for example, 
if you only have muntjac and Chinese water deer, a .22 centrefire, a .222, 
a .223…

red deer

Deer seasons

The deer shooting season If you’re a keen stalker, then you’ll need to know which is the deer shooting season for the different species, and the different dates for stags and hinds. It’s also crucial to have the right rifle for deer stalking in the right calibre. (You can check…

stags

Staggering ignorance

Deer management, 
an activity undertaken quietly and in solitude, enjoyed — or perhaps more accurately endured — a brief moment of national attention here in Ireland. An incident in Kerry raised questions regarding the management of red deer in the county. In late October a red stag was observed by…

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.

Ed Wills after a Macnab

Going for a Macnab

Better luck next time,” the stalker said to me, patting my shoulder, as I watched the winded stags gallop away over the hill. That had been my second attempt at bagging a Macnab and I had failed. The previous occasion had seen me catch a fish before breakfast, grass 
a…