February 2017 - Deer Stalkers Almanac
- Thursday, 26 January 2017
Peter Jones takes a look at the month ahead.
During February there are changes afoot in the world of deer stalking. Most notable of these occur in Scotland where the 15thFebruary marks the last day of the season for Red & Sika Hinds and Fallow Doe. With only Fallow Buck and Roe Doe now in season north of the border, the majority of stalking in Scotland will now cease.
Of course another notable feature of February is the absence of Game shooting. With the season for driven bird shooting coming to an end on the 1st February, and with most game keepers now able to breathe a well deserved sigh of relief, deer stalkers can reclaim the woods and fields for themselves. In some areas south of the boarder, where deer managers have been denied access for fear of upsetting the birds, there will be a level of urgency required in order to achieve a suitable cull of females before the season ends at the end of March.
Amongst the herding species of deer, herd divisions will continue to be assigned on a gender basis, however Roe deer will remain in mixed family groups. Amongst Roebuck, who have a different antler casting cycle to the other species, the buck will now appear advanced in velvet. Be warned however, whilst it is common place to assume, when one sees the mature Roe Buck in antler, that this is true of all Roebuck. This is not the case, remember, the buck fawns will be casting their ‘buttons’ during February and so will be devoid of antler for some weeks before re growing their first simple set of antlers in time for the start of the Roebuck season on the 1st April.
And it is to this native species of deer that we dedicate this month’s film, during which, to my shame, I get caught out taking a nap, and am required to make one of the most unorthodox shots I have ever had to take. Follow this link to watch the film: short-films
IN 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: Sika Hind, Red Hind and Fallow Doe until 15th Feb only. Fallow Buck & Roe Doe remain in season throughout February.
Off Season in Scotland: Red Stag, Sika Stag & Roe Buck. Also Red & Sika Hind and Fallow Doe from 16th February.
(Editor: Peter Jones)