From the tiny muntjac to the noble red stag, UK stalkers are spoilt for choice — but which species presents the sternest test, asks Chris Dalton
A conversation I have had many times over the years has centred around the different challenges faced by hunters as they try to master stalking the resident deer on our small island. Which are the toughest deer to stalk? UK stalkers are lucky to have relatively easy access to six species, with most well scattered across Britain.
If we believe what we are being told, deer numbers are rising and the population is higher now than it has ever been. So, by definition, it should be easier to hunt them. I consider myself lucky to stalk all of our native species on a regular basis and, as a stalking outfitter, this is often while guiding clients. I get to hear the opinions of many as to which deer they prefer to hunt and why. I have always taken the view that the harder the challenge, the greater the reward and, on that basis, the ‘best sport’ should come from the deer that is the most difficult to successfully outwit. (Which deer species offers the most delicious venison?)
When assessing any degree…