We seem to be hearing more and more in the press, stories of rising deer populations,backed up by statistics such as increasing RTA’s involving deer etc.
Concerned deer managers, stalkers and landowners across the Scotland in particular are reporting that,as a response, deer populations are effectively being annihilated. This is being undertaken in the name of herd reductions where in fact, what is happening is near total decimation. Slaughters at Glen Affric and Mar Lodge have already made the press, but these are just a small example of a countrywide trend. Blame cannot be laid solely with Forestry concerns, as massive culls have also taken place on private estates; many citing the regeneration of grouse populations as reason . Surely our native Red Deer deserve equal conservation status as the native Red Grouse. Should we undertake to devastate one for the benefit of the other? Forestry concerns are now commonly seeking the services of contract stalkers and as sound as these people may be, to employ anyone on a bounty basis of deer culling, potentially promotes malpractice.
Our wild deer are offered almost no protection under closed-season now and this, coupled with night shooting licenses that are being grossly misused, means that we are treating them like vermin.
I have heard of a contract deer-culler, who amassed a tally of over one thousand head last year, amongst which were 30 ‘Royals’ in the course of this cull.
Could it be that the iconic sound of roaring stags up the glen may soon be no more than an echo of the past?
I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on this...and where, if aywhere we can find a satifactory answer to this very troubling trend.