Sika Deer Under Clear Blue Skies
- Wednesday, 09 February 2022
The Jurassic coast of Dorset offers some of the best Sika deer hunting in the UK, we report back from a recent Capreolus Club trip to the stunning Ilse of Purbeck.
With just a few more weeks until the end of winter and under clear blue skies, the Capreolus club set out on foot and took to their high seats, on the beautiful Isle of Purbeck, on Dorset’s Jurassic coast last weekend, to make the most of the remaining open season for Sika deer.
I have said it before and I’ll say it again, it is my opinion that this ground offers some of the finest Sika deer stalking in the UK, both in terms of the abundance of deer and scenery. The vista from each high seat was simply beautiful and the deer plentiful. Once again, all six rifles on the trip took deer, with the majority of members shooting two each and one lucky member shooting five.
Of course, behind every good event are good people. Amongst which, were some excelllent local guides.
There are few people who understand Sika better than these guys, who are responsible for having to cull over 300 Sika each year from this region of Dorset. Put simply, what they don't know about Sika ‘aint worth knowing’, something that proved extremely beneficial during the club trip during last October’s rut, when members were afforded guidance on the suitability of mature stags.
On this occasion, with the Sika herds now having split into stag and hind herds, it was mainly hinds that members were after, and good job too. There is after all, an essential deer management job to be done in this part of Dorset, where huge numbers of Sika deer are having a serious impact on the biodiversity of the region. Something that is not lost on the RSPB who own much of the surrounding land in this stunning strip of Jurassic coastline and require deer numbers to be significantly lowered to encourage the return of many bird species.
Of course, as any deer manager will tell you, you are not going to impact the population unless you shoot breeding females and that was the focus of the cull plan. And when you shoot enough deer there is always a chance that something will go array, and with a misplaced shot on a mature Sika hind, resulting in her running off injured into thick cover, there were more good people on hand. This time in the form of Martin from 'UK Deer Track & Recovery' ( https://ukdtr.co.uk/ ) who after a quick telephone call, was on the ground in under half an hour with his Bavarian Mountain hound ‘Poppy’.
Watching handler and dog work in these situations is an absolute privilege and within a further half hour the Sika hind was humanely dispatched and recovered, much to the relief of all concerned. On behalf of the club, huge thanks to Martin for his professionalism. It goes without saying, here at County Deer Stalking, we highly recommend this fabulous service to our readers for those occasions when we don’t place a shot that we are entirely happy with – we've all done it.
Of course, whilst there is a serious job to be done, and that is understood by its members, for most Capreolus Club members, deer stalking is a recreation and a means of harvesting wild, sustainable game for the table. So, it’s not all about pulling the trigger, albeit, there was plenty of trigger pulling being done! It is also about the comradery that the club offers, and a sociable and fun evening spent between stalks at the fabulous local Priory Hotel.
All things said and done, 100% strike rate, all deer recovered, top hospitality, beautiful scenery and several hundred kilos of tasty, wild free-range venison being sold locally, this was yet another hugely successful Capreolus Club event and goes a long way to demonstrate the quality of the club trips and events.
The good news is the club is hosting further events to Dorset’s Jurassic coast this autumn, along with other equally fabulous trips throughout the year for the UK’s other deer species, including Red deer in Exmoor, Fallow in the New Forest and Roebuck & Muntjac in Hampshire, along with club dinners, range days and various other events.
If you’d like to get involved with the Capreolus Club, take a look here at some of the benefits of joining: membership-benefits or if you'd like to be considered for membership of this thriving freindly club, you can apply here: apply-now Or contact us on 0203 981 0159 we'll be pleased to hear from you.
To read more about how Sika arrived in Dorset follow this link: sika-deer-stalking-in-dorset