An Affordable Free-Range Sika Deer Hunt In Northern Ireland


Published: December - 2007

Subscriber Robert Michalek says he found a deal in Northern Ireland. He hunted free-range sika deer there this past October, enjoying five days of lodging and meals at a historic Irish manor along with guided hunting and one sika trophy stag of any size for what amounted to $3,300. A second stag cost him only $500 more.

Michalek hunted a place called Colebrooke Park, booking agent Diana Hunting Tours. Colebrooke is located about 90 minutes from Belfast and offers sika, fallow and red deer hunting across an area of 40,000 acres. The properties vary from lowland grasslands with small woods to upland heather hillsides and conifer forests. All the land is private and open to Colebrook guests only. The main estate is on 1,500 acres and has access to another 2,000 nearby. A herd of Japanese sika was introduced there in the 1860s and continues to range freely in the area, numbering about 450 animals. Hunting is by stalking along pathways in the heavy cover and along forest edges overlooking meadows where the deer feed at first light and late afternoon. There are also high seats and ground blinds. The estate has three stalkers, and Michalek says they are all very good.

October is when the sika usually rut, but Michalek says the weather warmed up into the 70s unexpectedly, causing a slowdown in the action. He says the guides and his host, Lord Brookeborough, worked hard to put him on a 4 x 4 stag, but he finally settled for what he says is a respectable 4 x 3. Michalek says Colebrook manage their deer population closely, taking about 40 sika a year. All hunts here are conducted 1 x 1.

Michalek says this is one of the most relaxing hunts he has ever enjoyed. He says they rose early for tea in the morning, hunted until about 9 am and returned to the manor for breakfast, after which they went touring in nearby towns or drove to the Atlantic coast for an afternoon of sightseeing. They returned by 4 pm tea time........(continued)

 
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Facilitators: Diana Hunting Tours; Colebrooke Park;

  


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