Hunting Deer in Victoria

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Hunting Victoria
Deer hunting victoria

Hunting Deer in Victoria

Description

There were Six species of deer established into the wild in Australia during the world wide movement of “share the world most beautiful and useful things”. Unfortunately only 4 species would be found in Victoria. The Fallow deer, Hog deer, Red deer and the Sambar deer are all the remaining deer you would find in Victoria could weigh anywhere from 30kg – 350kg and of course there are exceptions from time to time. The way to tell a male from a female is that  male deer have antlers. Sometimes a female will have a small stub or nothing at all. A deer diet consist of  lichen, grass, shoots, bark, leaves, herbs, rushes, buds, nuts, fungi, fruit, as well as berries so seeing any of these trees while hunting will tell you for certain if its a likely place deer would travel or do travel through on a regular basis.

Senses

Vision: These Mammals have two types of photo receptors: rods and cones. In very basic terms, the rods allow us to see different shades of dark and light, while cones allow us to see color. Deer have more rods than humans, which allows them to see better in low light. They also have something called a tapetum on the back of their eye that reflects light – thus the glowing reflection of a deer’s eyes in your headlights – further enhancing their night/low light vision.  So wearing camouflage will brake up your shape to the deer helping you blend in. Deer having a low level of cones to see color they see shapes and being a smart animal if they see any large shape that doesn’t smell like another deer they automatically think predator and will run.

Hearing: The large external ears (or pinnae) work like a satellite dish. They help to amplify the sound the same may if you were to cup your hands behind your ears. There ears can move independently of each other they also help the deer  to evaluate what is happening in all directions. Deer are continually shifting the direction of the ears, and simply by watching the ears you can get a good idea of what the deer is thinking. When deer travel together they often keep track of each other by listening. So, if you see a lone deer be sure to watch its ears and if you see them cupping one or both ears to the rear most likely there will be another deer following.

If a deer is looking directly at you it doesn’t mean you have been spotted, if the ears are moving in different directions it may have not noticed you or you may not be to much of a concern but if the ears are cupped towards you it is studying you and preparing it self to act accordingly which is most cases is to run for its life.

Smell: Deer do have a very good sense of smell. When a deer inhales and odor it is sent to the brain where patterns and memory’s of odors are made, for example throughout the day several different food odors may be sent to the brain and when smelling that odor in the future it knows there is food nearby. Unfortunately this works against us as they can take in a lot of different odors such as clothes, tires, cigarettes, sweat and if the relation for these odors is negative (shot or being chased) the deer will disappear. An older deer with more and more negative human related patterns may never return to that same area again in some cases.

Habitat

To know if deer accompany a certain area you must understand what they need to survive. They  require a source of water and a large amount of various types of plants when it comes to choosing their home. These plants serve as a food source or concealment for the deer. Deer tend to sleep on a pile of leaves or pine needles so you must keep that in mind when trying to find a deer habitat. Deer often use the same tracks day in day out down to there water source so seeing these tracks on the ground is a sure thing that deer accompany the area. The forest is a perfect shelter source for a deer and there isn’t many other carnivores that live in forests that could eat them and they use the trees to jump and weave to escape from predators.

When to find Deer

Please note It is illegal to hunt deer at night via spotlight in Victoria. Deer are ruminants, and eat several times a day so chances of seeing them in there habitat during the day is likely although because of there fantastic night vision they do a lot of feeding in the evening and in the very early morning before it’s light when they can. They are more active around sunrise and sunset.

Caliber

In Victoria the minimum legal caliber that you can hunt and kill deer with is .270. So this means the caliber of .270 and any caliber above can be used to hunt deer. The reason behind this is so that the animal does go down with one shot and doesn’t go through a great deal of pain. The caliber suggested will change greatly depending on distance you will be shooting at deer, how dense the forest is that you will be hunting the deer in and your own personal preference.

A very popular caliber in Victoria is 30-06. The reason behind this is because it balances a large bullet with higher velocity and has a diverse range in grains, for example 150gr, 165gr, 180gr, 200gr, 220gr. It is mostly used when you are expecting to get a shot at deer from a distance using the scope because of the different grains/velocity’s available, as most people know you really only get one shot at a deer and then its gone. The other caliber suggested is 30-30  with iron sights(Example pic)this will be perfect for you hunting deer in a scrubby forest environment for a more up close and personal approach with a range of up to 200 meters depending on your skill level and once again in a scrubby environment you will only get one shot because once you miss they will be gone in the mist of dense forest.

Accessories & Extras

Clothing- It is extremely important to blend in head to toe, when Hunting Deer clothing is very important. A matching camouflage pattern thru out your outfit is ideal. Using colors that would be seen the day to day activities of the Deer. Woodland camouflage is ideal.

It is mandatory to wear blaze orange somewhere on you which will not effect your camouflage. The most popular blaze orange object to wear is the hat. This is mandatory so other hunters that may in the same area can see you for obvious safety reasons.

Binoculars/Rangefinders- A good pair of binoculars should be on every hunters list. There are extremely important when hunting deer. Deer blend in to there environment very well so having a good pair of binoculars to spot a deer in the distance is essential. Rangefinders are a bonus and are becoming more and more popular. If you where hunting for deer in open areas where visibility around you is high and with a 30-06 going for a distance shot on the deer than rangefinders are perfect.

Hunting Victoria’s tips and tricks

-try not to spray deodorants etc on yourself before deer hunting because of there great sense of smell they will make you stand out

-Save your conversations for the ride home, you want to avoid talking and try to make as less noise as possible. You need to remember they live in the bush 24 hours a day 7 days a week they know what noises are normal and what are not.

-When hunting in general it is wise to always go with another person, it is an advantage and a wise decision in regards to safety. The advantage is obvious, its an extra pair of eyes and 2 guns are always better than one. It is also much safer, if the worse was to happen and you did injure yourself which isn’t hard to do while hunting. One missed step and one fall can lead to a disaster. Having the other person there that is something was to go wrong one can go get help etc.

-Learn the diet of a deer and what the trees/plants look like that they feed on to determine whether or not you are in the right area. There diet is lichen, grasses, shoots, bark, leaves, herbs, rushes, buds, nuts, fungi, fruit, as well as berries. If you see a tree always check to see if it has been eating from(pic) and from there you will be able to get a good idea of the deer’s movements.

Fallow Deer

This species of deer can be hunted all year long in Victoria. Hunting is permitted in state forest and other ares of unoccupied crown land where the use and carriage of a firearm is permitted. Although fallow deer can not be hunted in National parks Reserves or other sanctuaries. This year long season is mainly to assist private land owners to reduce numbers or eliminate in total fallow deer on there property. Herds of fallow deer can cause property damage and have a detrimental effect on conservation values.

Weight/Height/measurements:

Adult Bucks(male)- 140-160cm long

– 85-95cm shoulder height

– 60-100kg in weight

Doe(female)            – 130-150cm long

– 75-85cm shoulder height

– 30-50kg in weight

Kill zone:

Everyone that hunts deer generally wants the head as a trophy so a Neck shot to damage the Jugulars or windpipe is perfect. Depending on distance and caliber a good body shot will generally do the trick but knowing where the vital organs are is always a bonus. See picture below.

Hog Deer

The open season for Hog Deer is restricted to a single month from April 1 to the April 30 each year. The reason behind this is to regulate harvest. An open season on Hog deer would mean hunting them during there peak breeding period in Summer, when stags are particularly vulnerable, we want to avoid any disruption to mating, which may affect productivity. Hunting them in April  also avoids the hardships of winter when population levels are at their lowest and deer are subject to environmental extremes and food shortages. They are very solidly built with a long body and relatively short legs and the line of the back slopes upward from the shoulders to a high rump. The ears are rounded. The older they get they tend to become light colored in the face and neck. Colors to expect on this deer are light to dark brown while the underside of the tail is white, as a distinctive alarm display they can fan the white hairs out from underside the tail

Weight/Height/measurements:

Mature Hog stag(male) – 50-70cm shoulder height

– 50-70kg in weight

Hind(female)                    – 50-65cm shoulder height

– 30-45kg in weight

Kill zone:

Everyone that hunts deer generally wants the head as a trophy so a Neck shot to damage the Jugulars or windpipe is perfect. Depending on distance and caliber a good body shot will generally do the trick but knowing where the vital organs are is always a bonus. See picture below.

Red Deer

This species of deer can be hunted all year round. Red deer have a short mating(rutting) period of 3-4 weeks which begins in late march to early April. The Hind(female Red Deer) has an eight month gestation period and gives birth to a single young in either November or December. Stags(male red deer) cast there antlers during September and October and regrow them by mid-February.

Weight/Height/measurements:

Stag(male) Red Deer              – 175-250cm Long

– 160-240km in weight

Hind(female) Red Deer        – 160-210cm Long

– 120-170kg in weight

Kill zone:

Everyone that hunts deer generally wants the head as a trophy so a Neck shot to damage the Jugulars or windpipe is perfect. Depending on distance and caliber a good body shot will generally do the trick but knowing where the vital organs are is always a bonus. See picture below.

Sambar Deer

Samber deer can be hunted all year long here in Victoria by stalking. The reason behind this is because samber deer are capable of breeding at any time of the year due to them being an Asiatic species. The coat of a sambar deer is generally consistent in color around the body, but can vary from yellowish-brown to almost dark grey. The belly of the sambar deer tends to be darker and sometimes has chestnut markings. The samber deer has long coarse hair particularly on the neck, with this being more prominent in the male. The tail is relatively long for a deer and is normally black.

Weight/Height/measurements:

Weight- 100-350kg

Head body length 160-270cm

Shoulder length 102-160cm

Tail lenght 25-30cm

Kill zone:

Everyone that hunts deer generally wants the head as a trophy so a Neck shot to damage the Jugulars or windpipe is perfect. Depending on distance and caliber a good body shot will generally do the trick but knowing where the vital organs are is always a bonus.

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