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Cull efforts rewarded

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Was down Dorset at the weekend to press on with the sika / roe cull prior to a forestry project. With a chunk of the grant riding on the deer management the owner is of the opinion that prevention is better than cure and the pressure is on to numbers down. Do it right, but get them down. The browse lines on this ivy can be seen all over the whole 250 acre block so it looks like the 13 we had off here a few weeks back is scratching the surface.

We had a keeper mate of mine with this trip who had the professional credentials and had also worked with Tim on Fallow culls before and I was hoping to put him in front of his first Sika stag if a suitable one presented. 

Tim was off to another bit of ground of mine 1/2 hr away to try and get some hinds that were piling into some fresh lay so Tony was with me and at dawn we set up. Approaching a promising spot of poplar and bracken we bumped a roe doe who presented a brief shot but Tony was obviously not comfortable with it and  passed it up - much to my appreciation as I didn’t want any wounded animals or ruined carcasses. It turned out to be the best decision he made all day as two paces later a stag rose from its couch and squared up to us 40m away! Traversing the rifle towards it the stag leaped a few strides away and fortunately stopped to my whistle. He’d do nicely and with no hesitation from Tony this time down he went to a perfect neck shot. He was made up and I was delighted for him. To help make it a more memorable experience I allowed him to drag it back to the truck.


I had a hind a shortly after it carried on like that... prioritising calves & prickets. It was hard work and we were shattered by Sunday but we worked as a team and had a good result with 8 sika and 4 roe. Sadly the dealer could only take 6 so I’ve the rest in my chiller so I need to roll my sleeves up and get processing!


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Since Matt took on this plot , the roe have improved condition from scrawny thin specimens to more like we see in Wiltshire around  me and the tick load has decreased drastically . The browse line however appears to be in keeping with large deer numbers the like of which I’ve seen with fallow . We were all made up Tony got his stag as he puts us  both on a fair bit of shooting .Theres a story to the stag that Matt might elaborate on . Roll on next visit . 

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