Deer Stalking Almanac for December
- Saturday, 10 November 2012
In the lead up to Christmas many stalkers will be setting about trying to fill their larders with Venison along with meeting the demand of their local butchers or Game dealers and the inevitable requests from friends and family.
It is a travesty that Venison becomes so in demand around Christmas time yet is otherwise ignored through much of the rest of the year, personally I think this is down not so much to a lack of demand so much as a lack of education. However until such time as demand changes we must do our best to remind people of what a great meat Venison can be and there is no better time to do it than by providing a prime joint of Venison at Christmas to go hand in hand with the inevitable Turkey alternative!
Setting about meeting this demand is another matter, during the Fallow season Fallow deer become increasingly shy and so walked up stalking becomes harder and harder and usually results in simply 'bumping' the deer from one area to the next without any real chance of success. The nights are also long and as such this gives the deer plenty of opportunity to indulge themselves in nocturnal feeding.
Dress warm in December because it is for these reasons that when hunting Fallow Deer it is static positions and high seats that usually present the best opportunity for success and it is when that opportunity arises that I will be encouraging guests to take a firm hand. The result being that with selective shooting of the right beasts at least two deer can usually been taken from a herd.
As for Roe deer, I am pleased to report that having left our main Roe ground alone during the back end of the Buck season the deer are less skittish than their Fallow counterparts. The Roe can also now be seen back in family groups however be warned! The Roe Buck will have shed their antlers by December and so extreme caution please! You must check for the 'tell tale' 'anal tush' exhibited by the Doe!
This is a must amongst Roe deer stalkers at this time of year. Nothing can be more annoying than shooting a Roe Buck that might have otherwise presented a fine trophy the following summer. Patience is the order of the day, you will need to get a glimpse of the rear end of your quarry before making the final decision to shoot and this will inevitably mean losing the occasional opportunity.
Gladly during December and now that the woods are bare of foliage the Muntjac will be more visible and so I expect to be taking a few more animals than during other months of the year. I will also be able to get a better indication of their numbers and quality.
IN Season in England & Wales: Roe Does, Fallow Does & Fallow Buck, Sika Stags & Sika Hinds, Red Stags & Red Hinds, CWD Bucks & CWD Does, Muntjac Buck & Muntjac Does.
OFF Season in England & Wales: Roe Buck.