A New Template for Deer Management on Public Land in Scotland?

Community Integrated Deer Management in Scotland

The vision is being brought forward by a partnership of eleven leading deer management stakeholders:

The Association of Deer Management Groups (ADMG), BASC, the British Deer Society (BDS), Deer Management Qualifications (DMQ), the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT), Lowland Deer Network Scotland (LDNS), the Scottish Association for Country Sports (SACS), the Scottish Countryside Alliance (SCA), the Scottish Country Sports Tourism Group (SCSTG), Scottish Land and Estates (SLE) and the Scottish Venison Association (SVA).

The partnership aims to institutionalise what is being described as ‘community integrated deer management’. This involves establishing more opportunities for trained recreational deer stalkers to manage deer on public land in their local area.



Thoughts anyone?
 

goodoldboy

MIA
Book Reviewer
Good move. If it was up to the deer to look after themselves some of them would either starve to death painfully or hobble around in agony for months on end. Managing wild deer properly and effectively is just one step removed from good husbandry on a farm with livestock. Correct and educated management of wild animals is the exact opposite to those who go out and kill just to satisfy their personal bloodlust and bragging rights.
 
Correct and educated management of wild animals is the exact opposite to those who go out and kill just to satisfy their personal bloodlust and bragging rights.
The problem is that the proposal leaves the decision on which recreational stalkers are educated to those who earn money from recreational stalking.

Deer are not particularly environmentally friendly and in the absence of natural predators could cause a disaster, but leaving the culling to non-professionals regulated by people they're paying money to hunt deer doesn't strike me as the way ahead.
 

goodoldboy

MIA
Book Reviewer
The problem is that the proposal leaves the decision on which recreational stalkers are educated to those who earn money from recreational stalking.

Deer are not particularly environmentally friendly and in the absence of natural predators could cause a disaster, but leaving the culling to non-professionals regulated by people they're paying money to hunt deer doesn't strike me as the way ahead.
I agree wholeheartedly with what you are saying but the article does say that suitable people will be trained.

I don't know about Scotland but here in England the professional deer stalkers operate exclusively on private land (and make a lot of money from it). On public land the local Council will usually get a pest controller to shoot a deer in trouble. The big estates around here that keep a deer herd for pleasure use professional deer stalkers for management.

(The problem around here are the Muntjac deer who wander everywhere as they please, do tremendous damage and breed year round).
 
I agree wholeheartedly with what you are saying but the article does say that suitable people will be trained.
By the people who make money from recreational shooting.

I can't say the UK has had much success with self-regulation of industries before, even those which are much higher-profile than land management. I would put money on the training very quickly evolving into a paid box-ticking exercise for sport hunters, another cost to be budgeted for on their holiday.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
Not the pay to train with us and no one else line again?
 

philc

LE
The problem is that the proposal leaves the decision on which recreational stalkers are educated to those who earn money from recreational stalking.

Deer are not particularly environmentally friendly and in the absence of natural predators could cause a disaster, but leaving the culling to non-professionals regulated by people they're paying money to hunt deer doesn't strike me as the way ahead.

The introduction of Wolves would solve that issue.
 
The introduction of Wolves would solve that issue.
Along with the issues of fly-tipping, dirty camping and dogging.

Omelettes and eggs, I say.
 
There are too many deer of various species in the uk. My gut feeling is that they suppress plants in the under storey of woods and also groundcover. This will lead to habitat loss for insects and smaller birds and so predators due to the lack of breeding/food sites for their prey.

Some element of culling and control needs to be done but I also see the reaction of the public against deer stalking ( which is the sensible choice).

A big part of me thinks that the re introduction of the Lynx and Wolf would be of benefit in control and neatly side step the permanently outraged and ecologically unaware elements in the general public.

I think the Lynx project may now be active with a few releases. There is a pack of wolves in England being looked after but whether there are plans to release them, I do not know.

Not an expert at all. Just information I have got from an Ecologist I know.
 
There are too many deer of various species in the uk. A big part of me thinks that the re introduction of the Lynx and Wolf would be of benefit in control and neatly side step the permanently outraged and ecologically unaware elements in the general public.
There are too many deer in certain areas as in line with what each landowner wants to achieve and to be honest I think Natural England needs to look at dishing out night licences to sort out Fallow in some areas.

Wolf and Lynx are pie in the sky ideas pushed by rewilders who have no interest in impacts other than achieving their vanity project goal. The reality is that the country is relatively small and we simply do not have any truly ‘wild’ places in the U.K. with the range to support these species where they will not cause impact.

Wolves are now causing significant issues in Western Europe (Germany) etc due to releases and alleged ‘natural spread’ and it won’t be long before patience runs out as it will only take one significant incident to call for eradication - the livestock and pets aren’t quite enough.

Lynx will take roe but won’t manage a red (maybe the odd calf) and will just end up nabbing livestock and become unpopular. Newsflash for the people who believe ‘rewilders’ when they say that it will become a tourist attraction clearly know bugger all as Lynx are wary and the chances of seeing one in the wild are minute. I’ve seen one, by absolute chance, sitting in a highseat in Germany at last light and it took off when I gently knocked the seat trying to get the camera out.

That aside, either species would be the final nail in the coffin for any remaining Scottish Wildcats and/or reintroduction as as they will share the same habitat - until they’re killed and eaten.

Realistically this proposal relates to a small percentage of ground and whether it’s locals or a ‘tag’ system as some recreational stalkers would like I personally don’t think it will ever fly for a number of reasons; safety, public perception, the amount of hoops you need to jump through if contracting in FLS estate and a heap more which I can’t even be bothered typing about. Above all else the administration costs alone would not make it cost effective.

What it shows is that within deerstalking circles there is a clear misunderstanding of what is likely to be expected by the landowner and the circumstances in which the stalkers would/could have to operate in and maybe indicates that in some areas syndicates just don’t kill enough deer to keep FLS happy.

Above all it highlights the greed and jealousy involved in stalking and obtaining ground to stalk; mostly from people who either aren’t wanting to pay or want something for nothing to do on an ad hoc basis (but will spend thousands on kit), it’s a funny old world.

What I will say is that if the SNP agreed to this (which I doubt they will), it will be used as a stick to beat the industry is and will end up being counter productive.

What is unsurprising is that the BASC have recently dropped the amount of stalks to achieve DSC2 which would be a pre requisite for this gig (fancy that), and also want the Scottish Government to fund it whilst being the main beneficiary…

My concerns of taking funding from the Scottish Government are well founded.

Read below and swap ‘Charity’ for Publicly Funded Venture, Quasi-Autonomous NGO or whatever and you’ll get the idea.


I’m afraid stepping into bed with the SNP and Greens when it comes to the countryside will not end well as they will expect, if funded, to shut up and agree with them or ‘take a drink’.

It’s not a new idea and was proposed and piloted by the Scottish Gamekeepers Association in the central belt a few years ago. Think it eventually got canned due to issues that blight Deer Management Groups all over the country with people not dealing with deer control pragmatically.


Interestingly the SGA aren’t joining this group and I tend to use them as a barometer of how things will pan out and said “good luck if you can join the dots” to BASC.

Just to be clear I have no skin in the game, I control deer on commercial forestry with a few other lads which won’t be affected by any of these proposals as they are not FLS and we do so by all legal means necessary including night shooting and OOS licences.

The biggest problem with the vast majority of recreational stalkers, of which I consider myself one, is that they don’t ‘get’ what real deer control is in a commercial forestry setting.

It ain’t stalking, it’s control by all legal means which might not suit many. I’ve also been in a position where I’ve had to go into an area where a ‘great syndicate’ had been for years to sort out numbers, needless to say they weren’t happy, but guess what, the forestry manager was delighted so we ended up getting the ground and are now in a position where damage is negligible and it’s just a keeping the place serviced.

Contrary to this I have another area which is my prime roe ground where there is no pressure for numbers as they don’t cause any damage and it’s not far as the crow flies from the commercial bit. This is how fragmented the reality of deer control is.
 
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There are too many deer in certain areas as in line with what each landowner wants to achieve and to be honest I think Natural England needs to look at dishing out night licences to sort out Fallow in some areas.

Wolf and Lynx are pie in the sky ideas pushed by rewilders who have no interest in impacts other than achieving their vanity project goal. The reality is that the country is relatively small and we simply do not have any truly ‘wild’ places in the U.K. with the range to support these species where they will not cause impact.

Wolves are now causing significant issues in Western Europe (Germany) etc due to releases and alleged ‘natural spread’ and it won’t be long before patience runs out as it will only take one significant incident to call for eradication - the livestock and pets aren’t quite enough.

Lynx will take roe but won’t manage a red (maybe the odd calf) and will just end up nabbing livestock and become unpopular. Newsflash for the people who believe ‘rewilders’ when they say that it will become a tourist attraction clearly know bugger all as Lynx are wary and the chances of seeing one in the wild are minute. I’ve seen one, by absolute chance, sitting in a highseat in Germany at last light and it took off when I gently knocked the seat trying to get the camera out.

That aside, either species would be the final nail in the coffin for any remaining Scottish Wildcats and/or reintroduction as as they will share the same habitat - until they’re killed and eaten.

Realistically this proposal relates to a small percentage of ground and whether it’s locals or a ‘tag’ system as some recreational stalkers would like I personally don’t think it will ever fly for a number of reasons; safety, public perception, the amount of hoops you need to jump through if contracting in FLS estate and a heap more which I can’t even be bothered typing about. Above all else the administration costs alone would not make it cost effective.

What it shows is that within deerstalking circles there is a clear misunderstanding of what is likely to be expected by the landowner and the circumstances in which the stalkers would/could have to operate in and maybe indicates that in some areas syndicates just don’t kill enough deer to keep FLS happy.

Above all it highlights the greed and jealousy involved in stalking and obtaining ground to stalk; mostly from people who either aren’t wanting to pay or want something for nothing to do on an ad hoc basis (but will spend thousands on kit), it’s a funny old world.

What I will say is that if the SNP agreed to this (which I doubt they will), it will be used as a stick to beat the industry is and will end up being counter productive.

What is unsurprising is that the BASC have recently dropped the amount of stalks to achieve DSC2 which would be a pre requisite for this gig (fancy that), and also want the Scottish Government to fund it whilst being the main beneficiary…

My concerns of taking funding from the Scottish Government are well founded.

Read below and swap ‘Charity’ for Publicly Funded Venture, Quasi-Autonomous NGO or whatever and you’ll get the idea.


I’m afraid stepping into bed with the SNP and Greens when it comes to the countryside will not end well as they will expect, if funded, to shut up and agree with them or ‘take a drink’.

It’s not a new idea and was proposed and piloted by the Scottish Gamekeepers Association in the central belt a few years ago. Think it eventually got canned due to issues that blight Deer Management Groups all over the country with people not dealing with deer control pragmatically.


Interestingly the SGA aren’t joining this group and I tend to use them as a barometer of how things will pan out and said “good luck if you can join the dots” to BASC.

Just to be clear I have no skin in the game, I control deer on commercial forestry with a few other lads which won’t be affected by any of these proposals as they are not FLS and we do so by all legal means necessary including night shooting and OOS licences.

The biggest problem with the vast majority of recreational stalkers, of which I consider myself one, is that they don’t ‘get’ what real deer control is in a commercial forestry setting.

It ain’t stalking, it’s control by all legal means which might not suit many. I’ve also been in a position where I’ve had to go into an area where a ‘great syndicate’ had been for years to sort out numbers, needless to say they weren’t happy, but guess what, the forestry manager was delighted so we ended up getting the ground and are now in a position where damage is negligible and it’s just a keeping the place serviced.

Contrary to this I have another area which is my prime roe ground where there is no pressure for numbers as they don’t cause any damage and it’s not far as the crow flies from the commercial bit. This is how fragmented the reality of deer control is.

I was shooting a piece of land a couple of weeks ago where you could legally shoot deer after dark - with night vision obvs.
I think the land was covered under Section 7 and the endless acres of hazel were the reason.

We left before dark, shot nothing, witnessed nature in all its glory.
 
Wolf and Lynx are pie in the sky ideas pushed by rewilders who have no interest in impacts other than achieving their vanity project goal. The reality is that the country is relatively small and we simply do not have any truly ‘wild’ places in the U.K. with the range to support these species where they will not cause impact.

Wolves are now causing significant issues in Western Europe (Germany) etc due to releases and alleged ‘natural spread’ and it won’t be long before patience runs out as it will only take one significant incident to call for eradication - the livestock and pets aren’t quite enough.

Lynx will take roe but won’t manage a red (maybe the odd calf) and will just end up nabbing livestock and become unpopular. Newsflash for the people who believe ‘rewilders’ when they say that it will become a tourist attraction clearly know bugger all as Lynx are wary and the chances of seeing one in the wild are minute. I’ve seen one, by absolute chance, sitting in a highseat in Germany at last light and it took off when I gently knocked the seat trying to get the camera out.

That aside, either species would be the final nail in the coffin for any remaining Scottish Wildcats and/or reintroduction as as they will share the same habitat - until they’re killed and eaten.

I got a lot of umming and aaahing with this one:

“so shooting deer is cruel and inhumane and should be banned?”, ”yes!”

”but you do acknowledge that deer numbers will increase exponentially and cause massive problems? There are no predators in this country capable of taking deer. How would you control their numbers?”, ”we should introduce predators such as lynx and wolves”

”to kill deer?”, ”yes!”

”so you’re happy to introduce apex predators onto this crowded little island in order to kill deer, but not for me to be that predator?”, ”umm…ahhh…”
 
I got a lot of umming and aaahing with this one:

“so shooting deer is cruel and inhumane and should be banned?”, ”yes!”

”but you do acknowledge that deer numbers will increase exponentially and cause massive problems? There are no predators in this country capable of taking deer. How would you control their numbers?”, ”we should introduce predators such as lynx and wolves”

”to kill deer?”, ”yes!”

”so you’re happy to introduce apex predators onto this crowded little island in order to kill deer, but not for me to be that predator?”, ”umm…ahhh…”
Just wait till more money gets lashed about as a tax dodge on the pretence of meeting climate targets………. I mean planting trees to save humanity now that Biden has said so in COP26, the powers at be won’t be able to have enough deer killed as at £7 per metre (roughly) for deer fencing, bullets certainly are the cheaper option.

The fact that monolithic rounds are copper and we’re now all meant to use copper ammunition as lead is sooooo dangerous to us, even though if you read about it the only people who are lauding copper for killing deer are those with a financial interest in selling said ammunition to trigger pullers and copper kills trees isn’t important, as it’s not, and was never about planting trees to save the world, it’s about grants and tax dodging.
 
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