After a wet start to the summer, what does June hold in store for deer stalkers?

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As intelligent animals we have a recollection of summers past and so whilst for us it has felt disappointingly wet and cold, other animals who exist entirely in the moment, have no concept of how things should be. They simply repeat their pre-determined, cyclical behaviour of birth, feeding, breeding, death, and rebirth, unaffected by minor fluctuations.

Yes, they may experience minor changes in physiology and behaviour brought on by weather, that in practice only amount to a matter of days, but as the seasons change form spring to summer, we can pretty much expect deer to behave as they have always done for centuries. 

During a cold summer, winter coats may be shed a smidgen later, the rut might get under way a few days after it is usually anticipated, but overall nature carry’s on pretty much regardless. In fact, bar major catastrophe, all that nature demands of species to survive, is a glacial pace of adaptation.  

In many ways deer are unremarkable creatures, they are a timeless feature and stalwart of the countryside, none-less so than the UK’s native Roebuck, who, over the summer months are the main focus of deer stalkers up and down the country. And sure, as ‘eggs-are-eggs’ this June, this elegant little deer will be experiencing a period of lethargy between establishing territories in May and the rut, which invariably will occur between late July and early August.

In season in England, the ancient Muntjac will also be going about its usual business, albeit very few will be shot, due to the high ground cover and thick vegetation in which they become lost to the naked eye.

Further afield in Scotland, changes in legislation mean that the males of all deer may be shot this summer whilst devoid of hard antler. Albeit, I suspect that good common sense will prevail amongst most stalkers, who will self-impose a respite for animals which to my mind, deserve a respite, despite the Scottish Government’s whimsical and largely unpopular decision making.    

As far as our own perceptions go, June can be a gorgeous month to be deer stalking. If you are an early riser, the short nights, mean that there are long cool mornings positively briming with activity, in which you can lose yourself for a few hours in natures time less cycle, before the first members of the public stir from their beds.

Finally, this month, if you are in the market for a new rifle, you may be interested in my humble take on this year’s top selection of rifles.

If you'd like to take up deer stalking a great place to start is by taking the Proficient Deer Stalker Certificate Level 1. You can find out more about the course here: deer-stalking-course

Peter Jones 150IN 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, Fallow Buck, Red Stag, Sika Stag 

OFF Season in Scotland: Roe Doe, Fallow Doe, Sika Hind, Red Hind.

(Peter Jones - Editor)



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