While it is of upmost importance to familiarise yourself with your hunting equipment before heading out into the field, it is the techniques and knowledge learned through many hours of practice that sets you up for a successful stalk. Read the full article on shooting practice here
Here are 11 top Roe Buck stalking tips to help you achieve success.
Tip 1: The yearling buck.
As the Roebuck season begins, the social status of every buck starts to become apparent, with fraying and scrapes evident throughout the woods. Now is the perfect time to get on to a yearling cull buck before they are pushed out by the more dominant bucks.
Tip 2: A waiting game.
If your ground has the potential to produce medal quality bucks, the best way to help achieve this is by not shooting middle-aged bucks that show potential. Here is where experience comes into play. Be patient and sit on your hands, you will be rewarded in the end with a healthy herd with a strong bloodline.
Tip 3: High seat relocation.
If you haven’t already done so, now is the time to relocate any high seats that may become redundant due to the crops being too high. Oilseed rape being the obvious one that poses problems, but woodland rides can also become overgrown.
Tip 4: Feed bins.
If you’ve had feed bins running through the season, they can play an important role as the season progresses. Dominant bucks are likely to retain known feeding spots within their territories and are therefore something to keep an eye on, especially if you’re after that trophy buck.
Tip 5: Trail cameras.
Trail cameras have become the norm for professional and recreational stalker’s alike. Utilising sophisticated trail cameras allows you to clearly identify the number, species and age of your deer population. This gives you the information to create an effective management plan based upon a known population.
Tip 6: Know your animals.
Whilst trail cameras have their place in deer management, time on the ground is never wasted. A buck can only be in one place at a time and knowing his pattern of behaviour is critical. Once you’ve identified where your animals are, invest time in glassing their movements from observation points and track their behaviour, moving your high seats as required.
Tip 7: Housekeeping.
During Spring and Summer, the countryside explodes into life. This can lead to deer lawns and woodland rides becoming choked with new growth. Put a few days aside to mow rides and create open areas or deer lawns to concentrate traffic, then reposition your high seats appropriately.
Tip 8: To shoot, or not to shoot.
Whether to shoot bucks that are still carrying velvet is a debate that will go on and on. It’s considered good practice to be patient and wait until the antlers are clean and coloured, however this doesn’t always apply for the younger cull bucks. Apply your own rationale in line with your management plan.
Tip 9: A numbers game.
No matter how good a stalker you think you are or how many trail cams you have, you will never see all the deer on your ground, only a percentage of them. When setting yield and cull targets, take notice of other signs including tracks, tree damage and the relative size/health of your animals over a period of time. Numbers can always be adjusted in line with the health of the population.
Tip 10: Purchase a cool box.
As the season progresses and the days become longer, you will need to give some thought to carcass storage. If you have no cooling facility, the best investment you could make is a large cool box, preferably with some form of cooling facility. Lining the base of the cooler with bags of ice can also help to prevent the carcass from spoiling.
Tip 11: The roebuck rut.
During late July and early August is what many stalkers perceive to be the pinnacle of the roebuck season. The rut is an exciting time as bucks become responsive to the calls of oestrous does. There are few experiences more exciting than calling in a 6-point buck to within a few metres. Take the opportunity to practice your calls and, regardless of the outcome, enjoy every day.
Read more technical hunting tips and advice from Hawke here
Learn more about Hawke Life | Like Hawke on Facebook | Follow Hawke on Twitter | Follow Hawke on Instagram