I thought I'd start a new thread rather than hitch onto the Muntie one.
I've always had a rather unpopular view in regards to exotics[maybe a NZ influence early in my career!!] .
I have only shot a couple of Munties and have no management experience but i can offer some opinion with regard to dealing with Sika.
Some while back [early 90's] I was involved in research concerning the culling of Sika, at that time I put forward a proposal that Sika[&hybrids] should have no closed season and that it would be an offence for a land owner not to control them on his land.
This was taken from my experience in seeing the spread of sika from the Kintyre, Loch Ness and Shin populations.
At that time the UK cull was approx 6000, myself and 2 others were shooting 1600 in a small patch of west argyll & kintyre! We certainly didn't have25% of the poulation, we were however managing to keep numbers in check. My feeling that if the same effort was put in throughout the UK then Sika would certainly be kept under control and cleared from some areas.
The reality was that the minute BDS heard this there was an out cry and the ideas put forward[such as a 5 man fc/rdc team only shooting Sika wherever they were present & a cash bounty on dead animals] were kicked out.
To control any invasive species, I feel you have to throw out the rule book, yes you have to maintain welfare standards.
Sika are now present throughout the highlands and I can't see them ever leaving, this I feel is completely wrong, how can we justify the expenditure on mink removal when we allow Sika and Grey Squirrels to thrive.
Munties and Boar[these are not native boar] I feel are going to be a huge problem in years to come if it is not nipped in the bud now, just look to the mistakes already made with exotics around the world.
I think English Nature/SNH have to take the lead on this and get shooting, put a bounty on them, allow night shooting. We managed to wipe out Bufalo with single shot rifles for christ sake!!!!
The Sika we have are a mish mash of strains and have very little genetic integrity.
If the public don't like it , tough, Public opinion doesn't stop us going to war , why should it stop us shooting a few deer.
The excuse of Munties or Sika are great eating or fantastic to stalk just doesnt wash with me, I think they should be wiped out.
I await the incoming