Deer Hunters Almanac - May
- Tuesday, 27 April 2021
Should the Roebuck season in the UK start from 1st May?
As any Roe stalker will know, the open season for Roebuck and Roe Doe runs consecutively, meaning that either the buck or doe is in season 365 days a year, but never at the same time. This is in contrast with many other deer species, for whom, for much of the year, the open season overlaps.
Currently, in England & Wales the Roebuck season starts on the 1st April and lasts until 31st October. The season for females then runs from 1st November until 31st March. In Scotland the change from Roebuck to Doe comes on the 21st October.
Personally, I would afford Roe a break during April and commence Roebuck stalking from 1st May, affording these much-loved creatures some respite, whilst simultaneously ensuring that fewer Roebuck are shot in ‘tatters’, when the true quality of the antler growth cannot be properly determined.
As I have remarked before, far too many Roe are shot in April and so the added benefit of commencing the season from May, would be vastly improved hunting during the peak of the Roebuck season in May and during the late July and early August rut.
Indeed, I would probably go one further and end the season for females at the end of February and start males on 1st May….Or would I?
In fact, one of the joys of shooting in the UK, is that much of the decision making is made on the ground by thousands of individual deer managers, each uniquely placed to make decisions that are appropriate for their area. We are not given quoters or ‘tag’s each year by central government, we are free to determine what is best. If we shoot too many one year, we will have no sport the next, if we shoot too few, we may be relieved of our stalking rights. It is a balance that we all must strike, but it is one that has led me to shoot fewer and fewer animals in March and April and I urge you to at least consider doing likewise.
So, what does May have in store? Well with the season for the herding species, Fallow, Red and Sika now at an end, it is predominantly about Roebuck. No doubt a few Muntjac will be shot however, in the beautiful late spring sunshine, with the woods awash with fresh greenery and Roebuck charging around establishing territories, it is amongst the finest months of the year to be out hunting Roe.
Of course, once you have harvested a Roebuck you need to give some thought to what you are going to do with it. It is a huge credit to deer stalkers that almost all deer are consumed. How they are consumed is another matter. This month, it is with great pleasure that I can reveal details of a fabulous new masterclass on the huntingacademy delivered by one of the UK’s finest Michelin Star Chef’s.
Chef Chaniotis is one of the youngest chef’s ever to be awarded a Michelin star and as winner of a further three AA Rosettes and an Acorn award, is better placed than most to deliver six superb venison dishes designed to improve the way that you cook and present this fabulous meat.
Why not enrol today, ‘wow’ your family and friends and rediscover the taste of venison. Click here to get started: michelin-star-venison-cooking-masterclass
IN Season in England & Wales: Roebuck, Muntjac Buck & Muntjac Doe.
OFF Season in England & Wales: Roe Doe, Fallow Doe, Fallow Buck, Sika Hind, Sika Stag, Red Hind, Red Stag, CWD Buck & CWD Doe.
IN Season in Scotland: Roebuck
OFF Season in Scotland: Roe Doe, Fallow Doe, Fallow Buck, Sika Hind, Sika Stag, Red Hind, Red Stag.
(Peter Jones - Editor)