Roebuck stalking in Europe

Essential Kit Selection

Pro Team Member, Keith Anderson takes a look at some of the essential Items you will need for the Roebuck Hunt of a lifetime.

The Roe rut has been in full swing across Europe since early August and plenty of fellow hunters are out on the trail of a nice buck.

Keith is no stranger to Roebuck stalking and has hunted with the team throughout the UK, Hungary and Germany.

The Roe season in Europe usually brings with it a change in the weather…we say usually because last year we had a very wet start to the season, but this year seems to be more forgiving. Buds are abundant and the fresh green shoots are showing on the hedgerows so it’s time to take a look at what we might need to embark on that Monster Roebuck Hunt.

Clothing

The Deerhunter Avanti outfit in Realtree Xtra Green.

We find that a lighter form of clothing is to our advantage during this time of year. We tend to wear a heavy, warmer outfit through the winter months but always look to change early April, depending on what the weather brings.

We have found that the Deerhunter Avanti jacket and trousers are excellent for this time of year, and indeed, will be suitable from now until the end of the summer. The lightweight, waterproof but breathable fabric is comfortable to wear and if the weather does decide to turn a bit chilly, you can layer up and wear base layers or thermals underneath. A decent hood accompanies the Avanti range should you get caught in a shower.

The clothing is silent, which is essential for when you're stalking and it comes in a range of Realtree camo patterns. For this time of year, our favourite pattern has to be Realtree Xtra Green. The new growth in the forests and hedgerows blend extremely well.

Rifle.

The Sauer 202 Yukon, not only looks cool, but is also an extremely practical rifle. Adorned in the Realtree AP pattern, it blends well into its surroundings

We’ve used a variety of rifles over the years, and have found that certain rifles are often suited to certain tasks better than others. When it comes to stalking, we have found that the Sauer 202 Yukon has been an incredibly good firearm.

The combination, of styling and handling along with practicality and accuracy have been nothing short of astounding and we have taken Wild Boar, Red Deer, Fallow Deer, Roe Deer and Foxes successfully with this rifle. Chambered in .308 and running 150gn Lapua Meg ammo, there hasn’t been much that hasn’t dropped on the spot.

The gun balances extremely well and cycles effortlessly, allowing a very quick follow up shot if needed, and weighing in at just a shade over 7lb it’s not too heavy to carry through wooded areas.

To round it up, we think that your rifle choice needs to be something fairly lightweight, obviously reliable and accurate. Also, have a think about the type of stock you choose as you may be doing a lot of woodland stalking and climbing high seats.

Scope

A good optic on top of your rifle is a must. Like your rifle, it has to be something that you can count on and rely on to give you confidence when you squeeze the trigger.

The new Minox ZA 5 HD range of scopes offer blistering performance. A German built optic with a great array of options and sizes, we’ve opted for the 2-10 x 5, which allows the mag to be turned right down if needed, as Roe have a habit of popping up when you least expect it. The large 50 objective lens as well as being crystal clear, draws in all of the available light in low light conditions rewarding you with that extra time in the field when it counts and the chassis of the scope is strong and sturdy to withstand any knocks and still holds its zero.

Shooting Sticks.

Remember, you may be stalking through woodland and catch a glimpse of your ‘buck of a lifetime’. You don’t want to be grappling, trying to get a steady rest off of a tree trunk or branch, and the chances are that if you lie down to shoot off the bi-pod, the undergrowth could obscure your view.

The Vanguard T62 tripod sticks come in handy on such an occasion and provide the rock steady shooting platform needed to give the confidence to make that exact shot. Deployed in a second, the ‘U’ shaped yolk swivels 360 degrees, which means if your deer moves, you can follow it without coming out of the aim. Lightweight, quiet and adjustable, these are by far the best shooting sticks we have used up until now….. Long gone are the days of the makeshift sticks made from two garden canes with a bolt through the top of them, which is what we use to have when we started out!

Binoculars

A decent set of binoculars is a must for any deer stalking that you undertake. It’s not acceptable to scan forests or fields using your scope atop a loaded rifle, it’s unprofessional and an accident waiting to happen.

One set that stands out from the crowd is the Zeiss Victory RF 10x45. The build quality of these bino’s is second to none. The lenses are coated to allow great viewing in low light conditions and the range finding ability comes into its own when shooting on open ground or from a high seat.

You may also have to pick out which Roe buck you want to take from a group of animals, so it is essential that you can identify your quarry or you may just let that trophy buck slip through your fingers.

Hide Those Hands

It’s easy to give the game away when moving through the thick undergrowth, or with a dark coloured wooded area behind you, your face and hands will stand out, but more so your hands as they constantly move, whether it be picking your bino’s up to scan or picking your rifle up in readiness for a shot.

Also, at this time of year, there can be a heavy dew fall first thing in the morning, that will leave the branches, leaves and long grass wet. Very often climbing into a high seat can become a tricky job, we have found over the years that the MacWet gloves perform brilliantly in this scenario.

The fantastic MacWet Climatec short cuff sports gloves are made from highly technical Aquatec fabric to ensure superb grip and sensitivity, meaning that they don’t loose grip and are thin enough to ensure that you can still load, cycle and pull the trigger safely.

The gloves offer increased warmth and comfort with windproof, water resistant and fleece lined material on the back of the glove.

Call Them In

Many a Roe buck has been caught out by running to seek the attention of a calling female, only to find that he has been outsmarted by a hunter with his call.

Some people can call them in by simply making the sound with their mouth, or with the aid of a beech leaf…I say simply, but this really is an art form in itself and a pleasure to watch.

I personally, have to rely on my trusty Buttolo Blatter caller, and a simple squeeze on the call emits a shrill, high-pitched call very similar to that of a Roe doe. They are also pretty handy for pulling in Muntjac Deer aswell.

Sometimes just when you think the day is about to draw to a close without having fired a shot, a few ‘peeps’ on the caller grabs the attention of a passing buck and a bad stalk ends up being a great stalk!

Summary.

There you have it. That's our essential stalking list for this time of year on the Roebucks. The emphasis is on the weather.  It’s not quite nice enough to be heading out in short sleeves but at the same time, it’s not cold enough to be going wrapped up in your winter attire, you have to be comfortable with your clothing to perform properly and also be prepared to be caught out in the odd shower, so lightweight waterproof clothing is the order of the day.

A good dependable rifle that is lightweight and accurate is a must, as is a stable shooting platform should you need to take a shot at short notice, which is often the case with Roe Stalking.

And lastly, good luck with your stalking for 2014, wherever you may be!