During May the Roebuck Season reaches a high point.

But before I go onto say more of the UK’s native and iconic Capreolus Capreolus, I’d first like to extend a big thank you to everyone that came to say hello to us at the ‘Stalking Show’. It was an absolute pleasure to meet so many of our readers, and viewers of our YouTube films. I was genuinely overwhelmed by the reception that we received, so thank you!

Stalking Show Montage 555px

The show, I believe, was a huge credit to our industry. It was friendly and engaging and thanks to the excellent organising skills of David Freer, highly targeted. I believe that it also demonstrated how popular deer stalking has become. When I first started deer stalking, it would have been unthinkable that we deer stalkers could fill an entire county show ground.

Of course, it’s wonderful to see how popular deer stalking has become. Indeed, fifteen beginners took their ‘Proficient Deer Stalking Certificate Level 1’ (PDS1 deer-stalking-course ) during the two days of the ‘Stalking Show’ alone, and on average, a beginner enrols on the PDS1 every other day! However, looking to the future, the challenge, I think, will be to maintain a balance between supply and demand. That is to say, I hope that we will find a ‘Goldilocks zone’ between the increasing popularity of deer stalking and the deer population.

Currently the high number of deer in the UK should meet the reasonable expectations of a growing number of recreational deer stalkers. Indeed, in some areas, there is an abundance of supply. However, as the number of new stalkers coming to the sport increase, this will eventually have an impact on the number of deer there are to stalk. Notwithstanding, any changes to legislation that Defra plan to make in the coming months and years.

In truth, this is one of my greatest concerns. I recognise that deer numbers are currently too high, however, it is my view, that changes should be implemented gradually with a little ‘tinkering’. However, man and especially politicians, who must demonstrate quick results, are impatient beasts, and so my fear is, that change will be sought too hastily, and as such, the pendulum may swing rapidly from one extreme to another. Time will tell!  

Roebuck Licensed 1

Having exorcised my worries! Back to the Roebuck, who by virtue of all the other deer species, save for Muntjac, being out of season, will be the primary focus of deer stalkers, until at least the beginning of August.

Rightly so, the timing is in fact, perfect, because by the end of the month the Roe will finally be looking there best! In glossy- red coat, that contrasts beautifully against the emerald-green foliage and with clean, now darkened antlers, these deer are magnificent during the summer, and it is an absolute privilege to be able to observe these elegant animals at their finest.

But it’s not just the Roe’s appearance in May that make them so popular, it is their behaviour. Gone are the big family groups that we have seen in previous months. As testosterone levels rise, Mature bucks will no longer tolerate the presence of younger males, and females will chase off last year’s young, typically, to make way for the arrival of twin fawns. The result is a frenzy of activity, that will not be matched until the rut, in late July.

It is an exhilarating month to be out, and so for now, I shall put aside my concerns for the future and welcome the countless new recreational stalkers to our beloved sport, as they harvest their first deer, whilst perhaps uttering a few words of caution in their ear about sustainability and balance.

One such new stalker is Mo’ who in our latest film harvests his first deer for the pot: youtube.com/watch

To learn more about the best time to stalk Roebuck follow this link: roebuck-stalking-when-is-the-best-time-to-go

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

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

(Peter Jones - Editor)




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