“Muntjac: Managing an Alien Species” by Charles Smith-Jones. Review.

When I first came to the UK I ended up in Essex. This was so different to Polish countryside. I remember looking out the bus window going from Stanstead Airport to Braintree at all the fields and quite densely populated area (at least in comparison to what I was used to…) and thought to myself “No way I will find any deer here”…

During the first months I spent in South-East England I had barely seen anything. I worked 10-12 hours everyday 7 days a week and did not see a lot of surrounding countryside. I bumped on a few rabbits in a park and saw plenty of flattened pheasants on the motorway… Until my next flight back home. I was sitting on the train going to Stanstead Airport again when I spotted something out the window. I thought it was a young roebuck spiker, but it looked small and different, like a little devil. I could not stop thinking out the little devil deer and later on I found out it must have been a muntjac buck! I decided to find out more about muntjac, so bought a book: “Muntjac: Managing an Alien Species” by Charles Smith-Jones.

I am not a big fan of deer monographies. They are usually quite boring with a lot of information I do not find interesting such as detailed history back to Stone Age , I tend to skip, but I read this book from beginning to end. As munjac is not native species, it is good to know how it got to England. It is all well described and actually quite interesting. Also Charles Smith-Jones has unique style and the book is simply a real pleasure to read. He covers all usual chapters: biology, behaviour, deer management as well as mutjac stalking equipment and techniques.

I find muntjac deer fascinating even though I never shot one or even seen one in the wild except from that first encounter 8 years ago in Essex. Muntjac stalking is on my to do list and I hope to get one when time and money permitting… If you want to know more about muntjac there is no better book than “Muntjac: Managing an Alien Species” by Charles Smith-Jones.

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