Top tips for the 2023 Roe rut
- Tuesday, 27 June 2023
With July comes one of the most eagerly anticipated dates in deer stalking. Professional deer stalker Peter S Jones explains how to prepare.
‘Horror vacui’, fear of empty spaces, commonly referred to as ‘nature abhors a vacuum’, is the term coined by Aristotle and the phrase that I remind myself of whenever Roe stalking.
Being territorial, where Roe deer are present in good numbers, they will diffuse relatively evenly throughout the countryside, leaving very few empty spaces. This means that whenever you stalk a parcel of land, you can almost guarantee that Roe will be present.
It’s a good mind-set to get into. A common mistake amongst recreational stalkers, is to traipse through a wood, exit the far end and declare, "there was nothing in there".
A better phrase would be simply, "I didn’t see any deer". Truth is, there were deer, they just spotted you before you spotted them.
Why is this relevant to July?
Well, for just a couple of weeks or so, I reckon, between around 23rd July to 10th August, there is a small window of opportunity during which, with a little skill, it is possible to call the Roe out of cover and into plane sight.
Using a well-executed call from a ‘Buttalo’ or similar Roe Call, that mimics the sound of a doe in season, or Roe kid in cover, it is possible to entice Roe into revealing themselves.
Being able to call an otherwise shy and wary creature, sometimes as successfully as calling a well-trained dog to a whistle, is both an art and an unmitigated thrill.
It doesn’t always work, I have found that during the prime rutting period, there will be lulls and peaks in activity. Whilst most lulls will arise from a shift in the weather, from warm humid weather which is optimum, to cold wet, or windy weather, which is next to useless, there will be other occasions when I am left simply guessing.
As with most hunting, you need to be armed with some skill and a smidge of luck. As for the skill side of things, a little practice with the call beforehand and the ability to be able to get into a good position quietly and unseen will up the odds significantly, thereafter, patience, because as sure as the sun will rise on another Roe rut, there will be Roe deer in the woods.
If you’d like a reminder of some of our top tips for calling Roe, just follow this link: top-tips-for-roe-calling
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, Red Stag, Sika Stag.
OFF Season in Scotland: Roe Doe, Fallow Doe, Fallow Buck, Sika Hind, Red Hind.
(Peter Jones - Editor)