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
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