Probably Europe’s most pursued deer species, Roe deer can be found in abundance throughout the UK.
Roe Deer Hunting, UK
Hunting Season: April 1st – October 31st
The Roe Deer (capreolus capreolus) is the UK’s smallest native deer species. They colonised the UK before its post-glacial separation from continental Europe. Roe can be found in many parts of Scotland but are thought to have died out in Southern England during the middle ages, although the Northern Counties still retained Roe Deer. They were reintroduced to various release sites in southern England during the 18th & 19th Centuries from a number of sources. From these releases the populations have expanded to re-colonise most of their former range in the south and east of England. They were also re-introduced to Ireland and flourished for a time before subsequently dying out.
Roe tend to be found alone or in groups rather than herds. During autumn and winter, mature does will usually be accompanied by one or two kids. Yearling does do not usually mate and may join up with a
mature buck for the winter. However in late non-territorial part of the winter it is also quite common to see large groups of mixed sex roe coming to feed on attractive ground. We arrange our doe cull hunts at in February and march allowing us to get into these groups when the vegetation is at its lowest. During early spring, the mature bucks start to establish territories, first by marking branches with secretions from their grounds and by making scrapes on the ground with their hooves. Then during and after cleaning their antlers of velvet they reinforce these markings by fraying bark off saplings and plants. During May and June territorial bucks become increasingly aggressive and try to eject all other bucks from their territory. During April adult does also become territorial and chase away the previous year’s kids and become quite aggressive to other does. Territorial behaviour in Roe deer begins to subside in August.
Territorial activity peaks during the Rut which takes place during late July/early august. Hunting during the rut is an exciting time where the big bucks are known to come right up to you defending their territories and it is the only time of year when the buck can be called in using lures. During the rut we will either hunt from a blind using a call to lure in the Bucks, or spot and stalk the suitable Bucks. Individual does entice the bucks to chase them for long periods until mating finally takes place – this will be repeated many times for a day or so. Roe Deer are unique in that they have delayed implantation whereby implantation of the fertilised egg is delayed for several months, and it is for this reason that the Roe Buck season falls out of sync with the all the other UK deer. There is a slight upsurge in rutting activity mainly by the younger bucks during the first week in October which is known as the “false Rut”, this is likely to be caused by young doe kids sending out sexual signals as they mature. October can be a very rewarding time to hunt Roe Buck because your hunt can be combined with a Muntjac hunt and the Red Deer Rut!
This Hunt can be combined with Muntjac