How do I deal with deer disturbance caused by walkers?
- Credit: Archant
Dog walkers in the early morning and evening are disturbing the deer on the ground I stalk... any ideas? Dom Holtam replies...
Q: There are a lot of public footpaths on the ground I stalk, which raises plenty of issues in terms of safety and suchlike, but also there is a big problem with dog walkers disturbing the deer, especially in the mornings before work and in the evenings. Any tips on how best to deal with it?
DOM HOLTAM replies: Public access always raises issues – the first of which is ensuring you are always polite and scrupulously safe in all your dealings… even when the dog walkers have strayed from the path or when little Fido is hanging off the neck of that medal roe buck you’d been stalking in to.
In terms of disturbance, these summer months are probably a bit easier for you as not many dog walkers are committed enough to be out at dawn so that might give you a nice window of opportunity. We had one piece of ground in Kent that was heavily used by the public and the fallow became almost nocturnal. However, we did have some success in the late mornings – after the rush hour if you like – when the deer came out for a bit of a sunbathe and a feed once the first batch of pre-work walkers had disappeared.
As always, the strategic use of trail cameras can be a great way to find out what is on your ground and when they are active. Owen Beardsmore has made a great video on how to set up your trail cameras; it can be found on our website (www.rifleshootermagazine.co.uk) and will help you get the best results.