Deer Stalkers Almanac for May

The month of May is one of the most important months of the year for Trophy hunters, Peter Jones takes a look at what we might be able to expect from this years crop of Roe Buck.

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Experts appear to agree that the UK is becoming a climate that is affected by greater extremes of weather. Studies appear to show, that the jet stream is increasingly taking a longer, more meandering path. The result being that the weather remains set, stubbornly for more prolonged periods.

According to a recent study by Prof J Francis of Rutgers University “We can expect more of the same and we can expect it to happen more frequently”

Well so be it, but what on earth has this to do with Deer Stalking during the month of May?

Well the answer is Roe Buck, or more specifically Roe Buck antlers.

For stalkers across the UK, May is one of the best months for those that are after a Roe Buck trophy. As most will undoubtedly be aware, Roe Buck are unique amongst UK deer species, in so much as they grow their antlers during the winter months. It stands to reason therefore, that the weather over the preceding winter will have an effect on antler growth.

Last winter has been wet, very wet, it has however, also been unseasonably mild. The availability of browse and the early sprouting of vegetation in the woodlands may, it is fair to assume, have had the effect of enhancing antler growth. Clearly there are more variables at work in this equation than just weather, however studies show that milder winters usually contribute to improved antler growth.

At ‘County Deer Stalking’ the run up to May has been unusual. The Roe have been far less visible than during previous years. Here I suspect the jet stream has also played its part. Instead of being forced to graze in the open fields, Roe have instead, due to the early onset of browse, hastened by milder conditions, been able to confine themselves to their preferred cover.

As we progress into May, the start of what some stalkers see as the Roe Buck season proper, testosterone levels surge amongst the Roe Buck. As a result many unseen animals will be pressured into breaking cover, as they are pursued from pillar to post. It is therefore with some apprehension this year that I await the start of May. What will show itself? Will it be a good year or a poor one? In previous years I have been able to judge this much earlier, however this year is, as yet, somewhat of an unknown.

Will I, like so many others, be cursing the flow of this year’s meandering jet stream, or perhaps be welcoming its mixed blessings? It is exciting stuff and only time will tell!

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IN Season in England & Wales:  Roe Buck, Muntjac Bucks & Muntjac Does.

OFF Season in England & Wales: Roe Does, Fallow Does, Fallow Buck, Sika Hinds, Sika Stags, Red Hinds, Red Stags, CWD Bucks & CWD Does. 

IN Season in Scotland: Roe Buck

OFF Season in Scotland: Roe Does, Fallow Does, Fallow Buck, Sika Hinds, Sika Stags, Red Hinds, Red Stags. 

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