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Pest Control Diary: Up to Scotland

Pest Control Diary: Up to Scotland

Whatever I do throughout the year, be it foxing, rabbiting or stalking, I always look forward to November and my annual two weeks trip to the highlands of Scotland on the does and hind culls, and nothing gets in the way of that! Plus, I need to achieve a certain number of animals too. Like most people I start to wind down a little in November and there’s not a better month to make the seven hour journey, though the weather can be a little unpredictable, so I take my 4 x 4 just in case and in the past this has paid dividends! This November was different, with one of the estate owners requesting my help, which is something I am always keen to do and as I don’t pay for my stalking it’s the least I can do too! Not just that but the work we had planned would help me to reach a higher cull figure. Though on this particular estate, due to the miles of thick plantations, there is no actual figure; more of a case of it it’s in season, take it!

LAND MANAGEMENT

The work, or land management, we had planned was to widen one ride, and widen and extend another, cutting down some mature trees and scrub while being careful not to make it so open the deer won’t stay around long enough. One thing to consider is; deer like it just the way it is, so any alterations are best done little by little - cut a narrow ride one year, widen it two years later. This allows sunlight in, creating new growth, good food and a good draw for deer.

As far as food source for deer goes during the winter months, things such as brambles and willow tend to keep hold of their leaves longer. Though not very nutritious at this time, the deer depend on them, which is worth bearing in mind, especially if your ground is made up of blocks of young plantations where the only chance of a shot is on the rides.

The problem is the deer soon catch on and will make a dash across the ride to get back into cover. However, by planting brambles along the sides you will encourage them to stay a while, as long as when you first plant them you cover them with brush to allow them to get established. Other birds and mammals will also feed on the berries and in turn hawks and owls will pray on them, creating a rich diversity and within two years of the brambles and willow your cull figures will rise.

A LITTLE WORK?

So, all that’s needed is a little thought and half a day’s work. Our week’s work went well apart from my chain saw not working, the idea was to fell the trees on to brush and cut them into manageable sized logs. The willows, once cut, will throw up new lush shoots the deer die for, it was a busy week to say the least, stalking in the morning, clearing the rides in the afternoon but we managed, even if the weather wasn’t kind to us.

story continues below...

Up at 4am, we set off on a two hour drive, and then had to wait over an hour until it started to come light. Then a 30-minute climb, only for the snow to come down hard and reduce our visibility to 30 yards, and we never saw a deer! The harsh weather must have driven them deep into the plantation, but that’s stalking. When the weather changes so dramatically it takes the deer a day or two to acclimatise and start showing again. But with no two days being the same we did well, accounting for a mixed bag of sika and roe; five in total for twelve stalks between us.

MAKE AN IMPRESSION

Meaning we will have to put some time in on the ground early January (weather permitting) to make some kind of an impact.

Interestingly the deer braved the harsh weather to investigate what we had been doing the previous day. While we went for a stalk and saw no sign of anything, the land owner went to make an early start and came across four or five sika, had they come out of the warm dry plantation just to have a nosy?

I have stalked red, roe, and fallow, but sika are something else! Whereas the former will walk straight out of cover into the open if they are not persecuted, sika however, will stand back in the wood using all their senses and will only step out when absolutely sure it’s safe. Even then they will often stay on the tree line until one finally braves it, stepping out into the open. Many a time, after spying an area I first notice movement, a nose or an ear, only for it to disappear again, leaving me to wonder whether I saw anything at all. Often as I am fixed on that one, I suddenly notice another right out in the open, as if by magic! Sika are more nocturnal, so during the long winter nights it can be hard to reach your cull figure.

AM BETTER

Personally I have more luck on a morning stalk than the evening (unless I am stalking sika), then, it’s more of a wait and see exercise. On our last day on the Est. we stopped work early to try our luck that evening, up till now we had nothing in the bag and waited until the light started to play tricks with our eyes.

Suddenly a calf appeared, stepping out from the line of birches bordering the plantation, then more dark shadows moving amongst the trees. Hoping a hind would follow the calf, we lay motionless with one eye on the birches, the other on the calf. As it walked slowly towards the trees on the other side of the ride, a decision had to be made soon - take the calf or wait a little longer hoping for a chance at a hind! If we wait much longer we would lose sight of it, so all our attention was suddenly on the unsuspecting calf. My friend gave me the nod and I wasted no time taking it cleanly with a heart shot - the first was in the bag!

  • Pest Control Diary: Up to Scotland - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

  • Pest Control Diary: Up to Scotland - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

  • Pest Control Diary: Up to Scotland - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

2 Comments

  • Windows 10 is one of the great operating system people were using on their pc just visit here http://changeringtoneinwindows10mobile.com and get learn that how to change ringtone in windows 10 mobile in easiest way without any interruption.

    Default profile image
    Himanshu
    13 Oct 2018 at 08:01 AM
  • Windows 10 is one of the great operating system people were using on their pc just visit here http://changeringtoneinwindows10mobile.com and get learn that how to change ringtone in windows 10 mobile in easiest way without any interruption.

    Default profile image
    Himanshu
    13 Oct 2018 at 07:53 AM


Pest Control Diary: Up to Scotland

Pest Control Diary: Up to Scotland

Whatever I do throughout the year, be it foxing, rabbiting or stalking, I always look forward to November and my annual two weeks trip to the highlands of Scotland on the does and hind culls, and nothing gets in the way of that! Plus, I need to achieve a certain number of animals too. Like most people I start to wind down a little in November and there’s not a better month to make the seven hour journey, though the weather can be a little unpredictable, so I take my 4 x 4 just in case and in the past this has paid dividends! This November was different, with one of the estate owners requesting my help, which is something I am always keen to do and as I don’t pay for my stalking it’s the least I can do too! Not just that but the work we had planned would help me to reach a higher cull figure. Though on this particular estate, due to the miles of thick plantations, there is no actual figure; more of a case of it it’s in season, take it!

LAND MANAGEMENT

The work, or land management, we had planned was to widen one ride, and widen and extend another, cutting down some mature trees and scrub while being careful not to make it so open the deer won’t stay around long enough. One thing to consider is; deer like it just the way it is, so any alterations are best done little by little - cut a narrow ride one year, widen it two years later. This allows sunlight in, creating new growth, good food and a good draw for deer.

As far as food source for deer goes during the winter months, things such as brambles and willow tend to keep hold of their leaves longer. Though not very nutritious at this time, the deer depend on them, which is worth bearing in mind, especially if your ground is made up of blocks of young plantations where the only chance of a shot is on the rides.

The problem is the deer soon catch on and will make a dash across the ride to get back into cover. However, by planting brambles along the sides you will encourage them to stay a while, as long as when you first plant them you cover them with brush to allow them to get established. Other birds and mammals will also feed on the berries and in turn hawks and owls will pray on them, creating a rich diversity and within two years of the brambles and willow your cull figures will rise.

A LITTLE WORK?

So, all that’s needed is a little thought and half a day’s work. Our week’s work went well apart from my chain saw not working, the idea was to fell the trees on to brush and cut them into manageable sized logs. The willows, once cut, will throw up new lush shoots the deer die for, it was a busy week to say the least, stalking in the morning, clearing the rides in the afternoon but we managed, even if the weather wasn’t kind to us.

story continues below...

Up at 4am, we set off on a two hour drive, and then had to wait over an hour until it started to come light. Then a 30-minute climb, only for the snow to come down hard and reduce our visibility to 30 yards, and we never saw a deer! The harsh weather must have driven them deep into the plantation, but that’s stalking. When the weather changes so dramatically it takes the deer a day or two to acclimatise and start showing again. But with no two days being the same we did well, accounting for a mixed bag of sika and roe; five in total for twelve stalks between us.

MAKE AN IMPRESSION

Meaning we will have to put some time in on the ground early January (weather permitting) to make some kind of an impact.

Interestingly the deer braved the harsh weather to investigate what we had been doing the previous day. While we went for a stalk and saw no sign of anything, the land owner went to make an early start and came across four or five sika, had they come out of the warm dry plantation just to have a nosy?

I have stalked red, roe, and fallow, but sika are something else! Whereas the former will walk straight out of cover into the open if they are not persecuted, sika however, will stand back in the wood using all their senses and will only step out when absolutely sure it’s safe. Even then they will often stay on the tree line until one finally braves it, stepping out into the open. Many a time, after spying an area I first notice movement, a nose or an ear, only for it to disappear again, leaving me to wonder whether I saw anything at all. Often as I am fixed on that one, I suddenly notice another right out in the open, as if by magic! Sika are more nocturnal, so during the long winter nights it can be hard to reach your cull figure.

AM BETTER

Personally I have more luck on a morning stalk than the evening (unless I am stalking sika), then, it’s more of a wait and see exercise. On our last day on the Est. we stopped work early to try our luck that evening, up till now we had nothing in the bag and waited until the light started to play tricks with our eyes.

Suddenly a calf appeared, stepping out from the line of birches bordering the plantation, then more dark shadows moving amongst the trees. Hoping a hind would follow the calf, we lay motionless with one eye on the birches, the other on the calf. As it walked slowly towards the trees on the other side of the ride, a decision had to be made soon - take the calf or wait a little longer hoping for a chance at a hind! If we wait much longer we would lose sight of it, so all our attention was suddenly on the unsuspecting calf. My friend gave me the nod and I wasted no time taking it cleanly with a heart shot - the first was in the bag!

  • Pest Control Diary: Up to Scotland - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

  • Pest Control Diary: Up to Scotland - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

  • Pest Control Diary: Up to Scotland - image {image:count}

    click on image to enlarge

2 Comments

  • Windows 10 is one of the great operating system people were using on their pc just visit here http://changeringtoneinwindows10mobile.com and get learn that how to change ringtone in windows 10 mobile in easiest way without any interruption.

    Default profile image
    Himanshu
    13 Oct 2018 at 08:01 AM
  • Windows 10 is one of the great operating system people were using on their pc just visit here http://changeringtoneinwindows10mobile.com and get learn that how to change ringtone in windows 10 mobile in easiest way without any interruption.

    Default profile image
    Himanshu
    13 Oct 2018 at 07:53 AM


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