England: Reeve’s Muntjac & Chinese Water Deer

3 HUNTING DAYS
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Only place on earth to hunt these ancient deer species free-range. With a 30+ million-year-old design, they are the genetic ancestors of all deer species!

TRIP DURATION 3 Days, 4 nights, 1×1 fully guided.
PHYSICAL LEVEL Easy
PRIME TIME Winter months are best, November into March would be the peak season
WILDLIFE STATUS
Wild, Free-ranging, Introduced

Package Highlights

This is a 100% wild and free-ranging hunt for some of the world’s oldest and perhaps most unique deer species in a hassle-free, easy to get to destination. Fossil records dating back to 35 million years suggest that Muntjac may be the oldest living examples and original generic stock for all the worlds deer or Cervid species. If that fact alone does not intrigue you enough already, England may be the only place on earth to take both these species free-range in a single hunt, making this destination very special. Kept in private collections, notably at the famous Woburn Abby, the UK’s Chinese Water Deer (CWD) and Reeves Muntjac populations are originally comprised of escapees during the period between the two Great World Wars. German Luftwaffe, artillery and bombing raids knocked down walls and fences throughout the English countryside near London. A world on fire distracted attention from these deer as they established a growing a population across southern England.

At this time, England is the only place to hunt CWD in the wild, and recent studies suggest that Muntjac are likely becoming the most numerous deer species in the UK! This presents an incredible opportunity for hunters. Despite shedding their antlers in April, and re-growing them in October, Muntjac are open year-round with no real restrictions or harvest limits. CWD are a bizarre antlerless species with open seasons extending from November to the end of March. So the best time to combine the two species would be from November till the end of March.

In addition to these small “fanged” deer, Japanese Sika and Fallow Deer are also prevalent on the landscape. They can be specifically targeted during their October rutting window or combined as targets of opportunities on any winter CWD/Muntjac hunt. The Roe deer rut is also a great one, but seasons are somewhat mutually exclusive, spanning from April to Oct. Hunts scheduled for late October, early November, or late March, early April can combine Roe Deer with CWD and Muntjac.

Typical Day & Tactics

You will fly into Heathrow and be greeted by your outfitter to be delivered to the lovely old hotel accommodations for the hunt, enjoying a nice dinner before bed. The following morning will start off in the pre-dawn arriving at the hunting area in time for sunrise. Reminiscent of Pronghorn Antelope, CWD favor and inhabit open country, bedding down in agricultural or pasture fields in midday. This allows us to hunt them essentially all day long. They are conspicuous and the use the vastness of open space as their defense, aided by a phenomenal sense of smell. CWD are hunted spot & stalk. Glass long range with quality optics inspecting numbers of CWD until a medal class buck is identified by the presence of his large “tusks”. These are modified canine teeth used when fighting other males for breeding rights.

It’s a straight forward hunt, and while CWD populations are somewhat spotty – where they are present, they exist in great numbers. Usually one full day is all that’s needed to get a meaningful shot opportunity at mature medal class trophy buck. Muntjac however remind most North American hunters of Whitetails. They prefer dusk and dawn and often do not stray too far from thick cover. Plan for two outings each day (morning and evening hunts), with lunch often at a nice local pub. Muntjac can breed or rut year-round, so there are always a few estruses females being pursued by rutting bucks on every hunt.

Hunting tactics can vary by area or situation. Classic spot & stalk hunting is often employed in conjunction with calling tactics or sitting over bait at last light. All techniques prove effective, and often each is employed in a typical day to put hunters in front of these elusive trophy Muntjac bucks. Its not uncommon for hunters to take multiple Muntjac bucks during a 3-day hunt. They are a pleasure to pursue. Once dusk concludes the day, head back to the hotel, clean up and change in preparation for another lovely dinner to recount the days encounters in the field.

Landscape & Climate

Southern England is a patchwork of small, old hamlets, rich agricultural or pasture fields dotted with mature deciduous dominated woodlots.  To this, add old castles, churches and manor homes in the distance set amongst gently rolling hilltops. Huge gnarly English Oak, Elm and Beech trees become covered in rich ivy scattered among the holly bushes. Medieval era rock walls and dense hedgerows delineated and compartmentalize it all. Before long you find yourself in an ancient, picturesque and very huntable landscape. Just exploring it alone is almost worth the trip.

During the winter, CWD & Muntjac hunts the leaves are down, and frost, dew, rain or snow dampens the sound of the forest floor underfoot while you hunt. Visibility through the brambles is quite good as you attempt to spot these little deer in the undergrowth. Weather can be damp at times so rain gear is smart to bring in a day pack. And while the temperatures rarely stray below the freezing mark, its encouraged to wear a hat and pack some light shooting gloves when needed. Things warms up in the afternoon and evening, and the sun even makes casual appearances half the time.  For detailed weather data, Wikipedia is an excellent resource for historic weather trends found in the “Climate” section available for any city worldwide.

Meals & Accommodations

Stay in a beautiful heritage manor home, now converted to a rural hotel complete with a bar and restaurant. The hotel is only minutes from some of the primary hunting areas and includes lovely private rooms with all the amenities. One of the outfitting partners lives next door and is always happy to help, but also really facilitates logistics and trophy preparations. There is a lovely pub a short walk away that makes for a nice after hours treat.

Meals from the restaurant are already included in every package and enjoy a nice line up of traditional English fare, as well as other popular menu items. Have a buffet style brunch after you get in from the morning hunt (or a pub stop midday). Order what you like off the menu for dinner. Fish & chips, bangers & mash, gourmet burgers, local seafood platters, curries, pizzas and pastas are just some of the great items to choose from each night. 

Key Equipment Suggestions

This hunt only requires basic equipment. A day pack, 10x binoculars, rangefinder, headlamp, comfortable walking boots, rain gear and a digital camera covers the essentials.

 

Pricing

3 days/4 nights – fully guided – x1 CWD & x1 Muntjac – November – March – $4200

Included 

  • Round trip airport pick-up and drop-off services
  • All meals and accommodations during the hunt
  • All permits, licenses, and trophy fees for x1 CWD & 1x Muntjac with no size restrictions
  • 1×1 or 2×1 professional guiding with experienced local stalker
  • Rifle rental for the duration of the hunt & ammunition
  • All ground transportation while hunting
  • Basic trophy skull & hide preparations for the taxidermist

Not Included 

  • Travel to the destination city of London, England
  • Any pre and post-hunt meals and accommodations
  • Trophy fees for any additional game animals harvested
  • Gratuities to guides and staff
  • Taxidermy and trophy export
  • Personal side ventures or tourism
  • purchases of a personal nature, alcohol, souvenirs, etc.

Additions

  • Extra hunting days: $500/day
  • Non-hunting observer days: $150/day
  • Trophy fees for additional game species:
    • Free-range CWD – $1250
    • Free-range Muntjac – $750
    • Free-range Roe Deer – $1000 (if season is open)
    • Free-range Japanese Sika – $2000
    • Free-range Fallow Deer – $1250
    • Free-range Red Stag – $2000

Destination City

Hunters are asked to arrive to Heathrow International Airport in London, England, where they will be greeted by the outfitter. The various hunting areas are scattered 1-2 hours’ drive south or west of London.

Travel Suggestions

London is easily reached, often with direct flights and no connections from many major airports. Pricing is good, flights are quick & easy with lots of travel or sightseeing options.

Airport Shuttles

Round trip airport shuttles and all ground transportation between the hunting areas is already included with every package.

Special Info

Passport required for all international travel. Visa’s or Immunizations may also be required for certain destinations.

T.J. Schwanky/Vanessa Harrop, Outdoor Quest TV

Adrian has booked several hunts for us over the years and we have never been disappointed, so when he approached us about an opportunity to hunt muntjac and Chinese water deer in England, we jumped at it. As with all trips booked through Adrian, communication was excellent and there were no surprises.

We started with Chinese water deer and were warned that it could take a couple of days to find two good bucks, but our outfitter’s knowledge of the area paid off and by late afternoon we had two gold medal bucks. The muntjac were a bit more challenging but in the next two days, we took two solid bucks on two very different hunts. One was called into less than five yards and the other taken on a traditional spot and stalk hunt. This hunt was 100% free-range and met or exceeded our expectations in every aspect. These are amazing little deer to hunt and truly unique experience.

The outfitter had excellent equipment and we used his firearm which made things extremely simple. Accommodations and food were excellent, and we hunted quite literally from dawn till dusk every day. This is a hunt that could quite easily be combined with a business trip or vacation to London. We were picked up at the airport around 10:30 am and were hunting by 1:30 that afternoon. The hunting area is relatively close to Heathrow. We would highly recommend this hunt!