Rifles in the UK
Introduction
FIREARMS AND SAFETY
Hearing protection
How a rifle cartridge works
Recoil
Which rifle calibre?
Bullet types
Rimfire cartridges
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Reloading ammunition
Case trimming
Target marking
Deer stalking
Deer stalking

Deer stalking is an increasingly popular pastime in the UK and deer numbers have never been higher. With this page, I will just state the seasons in which the various deer species may be shot and give some basic information on the deer you can stalk in the UK. Suitable calibres for deer stalking are as follows:

In England, deer shooting must be done with a calibre of at least .240" with a minimum of 1,700 FPE. In practical terms this means the .243 Winchester calibre although .308 Win, 6.5x55 Swede and .270 Rem are also popular, especially among stalkers of the larger species such as Fallow and Red. One point to note is that if you want a single rifle to shoot deer and fox or shoot in a particularly windy area, the HO Guidance to the Police says you may choose a 6mm or 6.5mm calibre rifle.

In Scotland Roe may be shot with a minimum of a 50 grain bullet travelling at least 2,450 FPS to give 1,000 FPE which in practical terms means a minimum of .222 Rem calibre. For other deer species, a minimum of a 100 grain bullet travelling at 2,450 FPS giving 1,750 FPE is required.
UK deer seasons

The following table shows the open seasons for the main deer species encountered in the UK. There is no closed season on Muntjac because the females reproduce all year round and they are becoming considered a pest species.
Species Sex England, Wales and NI Scotland
Red Stag 1st Aug to 30th Apr 1st July to 20th Oct
Hind 1st Nov to 28/29th Feb 21st Oct to 15th Feb
Fallow Buck 1st Aug to 30th Apr 1st Aug to 30th Apr
Doe 1st Nov to 28/29th Feb 21st Oct to 15 Feb
Sika Stag 1st Aug to 30th Apr 1st Jul to 20th Oct
Hind 1st Nov to 28/29th Feb 21st Oct to 15th Feb
Roe Buck 1st Apr to 31st Oct 1st Apr to 20st Oct
Doe 1st Nov to 31st Mar 21st Oct to 31st Mar
Chinese Water Deer Both sexes 1st Nov to 28/29th Feb (advisory only)
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