The Countryman's Weekly

Deerstalking

Deerstalking
April 13
07:02 2021

Tips and tricks for a successful fallow cull

By Tom Cackett.

THE open season for fallow does runs from November 1 to March 31. That seems like quite a big window, especially at the beginning of the season when the weather is still slightly autumnal and you’re full of enthusiasm. However, in reality, it’s only 20 weeks. Even if we worked on the assumption that you went out once a week and had a 100 per cent success rate that’s only 20 fallow deer in the larder. I know some people will have a higher success rate, but equally some people won’t manage to get out stalking every week.

If you had a relatively small population of fallow deer and were simply trying to maintain numbers, then 20 dead does might be enough to satisfy your cull numbers. However, if we ran a cull planning model for a herd of 100 fallow and assume that you want to reduce it to 75 within a year, then you’d need to cull 22 does and 22 males (assuming the population sex ratio is equal).

(Before anyone questions my maths, I’ve used the standard British Deer Society population model to get the numbers!)

So immediately we’re behind schedule, and that’s assuming your population sex ratio is equal, which it probably isn’t. Furthermore, it’s also assuming that you’re going to cull all your males in August, September, October and April (when the male season is open, but the female season is closed).

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