A Chi­nese tusk force

A plan to cull old and young Chi­nese wa­ter deer bucks gives Bruce Potts the chance to en­joy an early evening stalk

Shooting Times & Country Magazine - - CONTENTS -

Chi­nese wa­ter deer (CWD) are not my nor­mal fare and I do not en­counter them very of­ten, but I was in­vited to go out with Char­lie Har­ri­man, who has some large hunt­ing con­ces­sions around the area of Buck­ing­hamshire that we were stalk­ing. I had been out with Char­lie be­fore with great suc­cess. This time my son Jake, two stalk­ers, Ju­lian and Hooter, and I were to cull young and old bucks be­fore the pay­ing clients ar­rived, usu­ally in De­cem­ber for the rut.

This part of the county is be­tween Ayles­bury and Buck­ing­ham and cov­ers ap­prox­i­mately 1,000 acres of typ­i­cal CWD stalk­ing land, rel­a­tively flat farm­land with large fields, edged with thick hedgerows and in­ter­spersed with copses and ponds.

Char­lie puts a lot of ef­fort into guid­ing his clients to ar­eas where there is a good chance of see­ing and stalk­ing deer. This all comes from prepa­ra­tion prior to the stalk­ing sea­son with early morn­ings and evenings ob­serv­ing the deer’s feed­ing, bed­ding and so­cial be­hav­iour. This is all dic­tated by the beasts on the ground them­selves — the num­ber of dom­i­nant bucks dic­tates ter­ri­to­rial bound­aries and pop­u­la­tion spread. Does will still be with the young from this year so are eas­ier to spot, as it can be

“It was an old buck with mas­sive tusks, dis­coloured with age and bro­ken off at the jaw­line”

SHOOT­ING TIMES & COUN­TRY MAG­A­ZINE • 79

Hooter poses with Ju­lian’s young buck be­fore the light faded

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