Buck hunting takes place as stalking or blind hunting. The stalking hunter moves silently around the hunting ground, always walking into the wind so the deer does not catch the scent and run.

It is important not to advance too quickly on a stalking hunt, but to take your time using the binoculars. Buck hunting takes place in the warm months, and you can hunt all day with good results. Most hunters are out in the morning or evening, but you can also find bucks in the middle of the day.

If blind hunting, you sit in a high seat or tower. These are placed in clearings, along forest tracks or near hedgerows in a field. A side benefit of buck hunting is that your noiseless movements should bring you very close to other fauna.

Challenges of buck hunting

Buck hunting takes place during the warmer months, but it can still be chilly in the mornings and evenings in spring.

It is important to be well camouflaged, as even though roe deer do not see colours the way we do, they clearly sense contrasts. You must therefore wear camouflage clothing which is suitable for the summer months, and that you can move in silently.

Roe deer have good hearing, and it does not take much to thwart a good buck hunt on a quiet summer morning. The biggest challenge when buck hunting is to avoid being noticed.

Download checklist for buck hunting

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Hunting stories from a hunter


There are many kinds of roebuck. There are the small curious ones that are chased into the periphery by the dominant buck. Fine young deer with small spikes or two tines, which look promising. Yearlings with only small button antlers, bucks with one antler projecting forwards, interesting abnormal bucks and bucks with symmetrical three-tine antlers. Bucks with tall, slender antlers and others with large joined coronets and pearling.

‘Killer bucks’ with needle sharp top points. Dark, compact bucks and bucks with velvet antlers.
Then there is the old buck you have followed over the years. Each year you wonder whether he is still there.

Several weeks before the hunt begins it has started in the hunter’s thoughts. The joy of anticipation. Dreams of outsmarting the ‘phantom buck’, which you only catch glimpses of in the thicket – hidden away in the shade of the woods. You have sat with binoculars late in the evening watching roe deer go back and forth behind the trees, and can’t quite see whether it’s him, or ‘just’ a roe. He might chase after a yearling, show himself in the open for a brief second, and then dash back to safety. As they say, there is a reason they have reached old age! They are not easily outwitted.

You occasionally hear of hunters who have bagged a buck they have never seen in their hunting grounds – a big one with amazing antlers. Has it been there all the time? Do the woods really conceal so much we do not know about?

As you make your way out to the high seat on a dark early morning, you can get the feeling there are eyes staring at you, but perhaps it’s ‘just’ a roe! Sleepy and excited, you sit and peer into the darkness, before the first rays of light appear. You listen intently, think about the wind direction, and last year when the buck tricked us. “Stay on the seat, stay on the seat,” we are always told, “it will come.”

But you can still lose patience, and feel tempted to climb down the ladder and creep around a bit. You start to be able to feel the heat of the spring sunshine, and with the birdsong comes another kind of ‘silence’ – a vigilant silence, which can only be sensed behind the sounds of early morning. A young buck can be seen down the forest track, grazing unaware and only sporadically checking for danger. Does its rashness and inexperience tempt you?

Yes! But the dream of the older buck restrains you, as once you have seen a buck and followed it over the years, you develop a special relationship to it. It becomes your own special buck! Many evenings and early mornings – and late mornings and afternoons – are spent scanning, sitting, waiting and thinking. Perhaps we have also caught a brief glimpse this season. We might be unsure whether it was him. Perhaps it’s just something we imagined, but we think it was him – it was him! This is the best thing about buck hunting. All this, without exception.

One day we’ll get him!

Troels Pedersen

Troels Pedersen
40 year old hunter, musician and author from Denmark
Started hunting in 1999
Favourite quarry: Woodcock
Choice of weapon: Henry Atkin 12/70

Best hunting trip:
On 2 November 2016, as I walked with two good friends in undulating terrain among tall pine trees. My dog was searching energetically among the small mossy rises when two woodcocks suddenly took flight together. I still remember the breath catching in my chest when woodcock number two also collapsed in the air. It was as if they both hung there a moment after they were hit before they dropped majestically in a clearing. My dog retrieved them both.

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