I have said it before, and I’ll say it again: ‘I absolutely love March’. Professional stalker Peter S Jones looks at the month ahead. 

Ben Heath Capreolus Club

It is something about the onset of spring and the sheer visibility of the deer that brings with it both excitement and optimism. This year, as we break from the shackles of COVID, never were it more true.

With the fresh sights and smells that come with the start of a new, brighter season and with a roadmap to the easing of COVID restrictions being coupled with a role out of the vaccine, we can get out happier in the knowledge, that we are unlikely to be once again confined to quarters.

As for the deer? Whilst there has been a substantial increase in the amount of foot fall from ramblers, far fewer deer have been shot. Indeed, on my own ground we have shot just 30% of our usual cull of females. Despite their increased visibility, (something that is brought about by diminishing food in the woods, larger mixed sex herds and the warm sun) I for one, will not be rushing to rectify this situation during March.

The reason being? Females are heavily pregnant in March and it is not fair to be stressing and pushing around already winter-weary animals during this time. Instead, there will be time enough at the end of the year to assess the situation with a cool head and take a firm hand if necessary.

Enjoy your stalking and harvest a few select animals, but overall, March is a time to show a bit of compassion for your quarry.

Things as they are, with Game Dealers offering precious little for the carcass, when you do harvest an animal you should keep it for yourself and for those that do, we have something exciting for you!

These last few weeks here at County Deer Stalking we have been working hard with Ben Heath from ‘The Deer Box & Mike Robinson Fine Foods’ to produce an absolutely superb ‘Masterclass in Skinning & Butchery’ via our ‘Deer Stalking & Large Game Hunting Academy’, something that will be invaluable in ensuring that you know what to do with your shot deer when you get it home.

Butchery Course County Deer Stalking

How to deal with large and small carcasses, how to prepare ‘Butterfly haunches’ for this summer’s BBQ’s, how to create a fabulous ‘Rolled Saddle’ a ‘French Rack’ and much, much more. All designed to ensure that you will be competent enough to take home your shot venison and present it in such a way as to impress family and friends.

Maybe you regularly butcher your own deer carcasses, or would like to learn how to do it better? Or perhaps you have considered attending a butchery course? Either way, I urge you to give this class a go. In a word, what Ben is able to impart and the way that he does it, is nothing short of ‘superb’.

Of course, the added benefit of the butchery class online, is that you can stop and start it, refer to it again and again and watch it at a time and place that suits you. I defy even the most accomplished amongst us not to learn a thing or two.

In the current climate, as hunters we should be proud to be harvesting and consuming wild, free-range, sustainable meat from its natural environment and this Masterclass will demonstrate the best way to do it.

As a subscriber to the Almanac, as soon as the class goes live, we will be delighted to forward you a link.

Peter Jones 150IN Season in England & Wales:  Roe Doe, Fallow Doe & Fallow Buck, Sika Stag & Sika Hind, Red Stag & Red Hind, CWD Buck & CWD Doe, Muntjac Buck & Muntjac Doe.

Off Season in England & Wales: Roebuck. 

In Season in Scotland:  Roe Doe, Fallow Buck

Off Season in Scotland: Red Stag & Red Hind, Sika Stag & Sika Hind, Roebuck and Fallow Doe. 

(Editor - Peter Jones)



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