Deer Stalking is the term used for hunting and shooting Deer in Scotland. Hind Stalking refers to the cull of female Red Deer and their calves.
The Red Deer Hind Stalking season follows after the Stag stalking season and runs from 21st October through to 15th February. Over this period Deer Forests shoot a lot of hinds and calves to control the Red Deer Population
The Hind cull is important as Red Deer are a resilient species with no natural predators in the UK. It helps protect the natural habitat, plant species and ensure that there is a strong Red Deer population. Deer stalking is more than the kill and a sport. It is part of the land management plan which is aimed at reducing the near-chronic over population of red deer in Scotland.
Hind Stalking is a tough sport for the active and young and is often carried out in extreme winter weather. However it is exciting, rewarding and very necessary. Stalking Hinds requires a lot of skill as the Red Deer Hind is wary and vigilant. There are often several Hinds in a group which means many pairs of eyes to avoid as well as their keen sense of smell / noise. Different approaches are required for Stalking Hinds depending on the terrain – Stalking in Forests creates different challenges to wide open terrain where Deer often have commanding views of the hillside.
Traditionally the hind cull has been carried out by stalkers alone, with guests concentrating on Stags. However Hind Stalking is becoming increasingly popular and it is a relatively cheaper sport.
It is important to be well equipped for Hind Stalking as you may face extreme winter weather on the hills of Scotland, need to crawl for a long distance in open terrain and sometimes to wait very still and patiently when Deer are nearby.
Quick Tips for what to wear
Stalking Clothing should be warm, waterproof, breathable and blend into the terrain. Clothing accessories such as gloves are an essential alongside hats, caps and headwear which will help keep you hidden! Don't forget appropriate footwear for stalking - In many Deer Forests there may be a long and arduous climb so it is important to have good walking boots.