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Thread: Presentation on Deer - Help Needed

  1. #1
    SD Regular willie_gunn's Avatar
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    Presentation on Deer - Help Needed

    Our village is running a series of talks, all given by villagers, on subjects as diverse as "Life on a Submarine" to "Spending a Year Driving Through Africa".

    Knowing my interest in deer, I was asked last night if I could give a speech as well! The talk needs to last for about 60-75 minutes. I've got plenty of time to prepare, as the date they've given me is a year away, but forewarned is forearmed!

    The talk is to a varied audience, so it can't just focus on stalking, but I figure it does present the opportunity to educate a wider audience on deer.

    Figuring that site members know better than anyone about these things, I was hoping that you could provide some input and suggestions as to what would help this presentation really work. I should say that I'd be willing to share the results or even come and present elsewhere as required!

    My current plans for the agenda are as follows:
    • Deer in the UK - the six different species, population growth, per-urban deer, etc.
    • Deer in Southern England - mostly Fallow, Roe, Muntjac - history, breeding, etc.
    • Deer Recognition - Antlers, pelage, sounds, etc.
    • Deer Lifecycle and Management - RTA's, disease, injury/accidents, stalking , etc.
    • Deer in Folklore - phrases and sayings that relate to deer, e.g. Humble Pie, etc.
    • Deer Cuisine - venison, health properties, etc.
    What I'm looking for are things that will help the audience understand pr relate to deer, or really make the audience think - perhaps things they've never really associated with deer before. For example:
    • Other than Humble Pie, what other phrases and sayings relate to deer?
    • Deer pelage - I'd like to show the audience different deer coats, so does anyone know where can I buy/acquire some good quality deer hides (red, sika, fallow and roe)? Is there anywhere I can get CWD and muntjac?
    • Antlers - I've got red, fallow, roe and muntjac, but would anyone be willing to provide/sell me some Sika antlers? CWD tusks??
    • Deer curiosities - I can think of names for fallow bucks, embryonic diapause (delayed implantation) in roe deer, and that muntjac does are sexually mature at seven months, breed every seven months and are pregnant within seven days of giving birth, but what other interesting facts would be good to mention?
    Anyone have any ideas?

    O wad some Power the giftie gie us to see oursels as ithers see us!

  2. #2
    You have to give a presentation for about an hour!! I honestly dont think you will get more than about 30 minutes simply from an attention span view point. 20-30 minutes on ANY subject is recognised as the optimum time to cover a subject fairly in depth. Longest Ive presented for is 1.5hrs but that was scientific and to a Goc agency so they HAD to stay awake!
    As to content you seem to have it fairly well covered. Include lots of pictures. I dont suppose your local is called the White Hart by any chance?
    The final 'chapter' of your talk could be on venison in cuisine and then you could perhaps let people try the real thing (see if you can get the slot before lunch)
    Pictures of footprint of the various species.
    Why not to pick bambi up if you come across one in the woods.
    Who to call in an rta (get confirmation from local wildlife liaison occifer)
    Explain how deer hair is 'pitted' with pockets of air to help insulate the deer whereas elk hair is hollow.
    Get permission to use the Deer Society maps on deer distribution.
    Talk about the rapid expansion of wild boar populations and their effect on farming
    Describe the training we undertake to safely put venison into the human food chain
    Be ready with answers to bizarre questions for instance about deer dogs, legal calibres, storage of guns (careful on this one, you might think all your neighbours are good citizens but you dont want to go into personnal details about your own security)
    Use of deer hair for fly tying patterns.
    I'm sure theres loads more to cover (I thinik you could well get the hour now!, but even if you can still keep it to no more than 45 and leave 15 for questions and dishing out some venison, burgers, sausages, roast haunch praps)
    Below is a link to my website.
    Quad sticks

  3. #3
    You could give the audience a print out of this - St Matthew Island Recombinant Records

    Or put it up on screen thru a laptop - that will make them think!

    It shows what happens when the numbers of a prey species is not regulated (managed) by predation (stalkers)

    Very useful in this country as we are IT! -No bears, wolves, lynx or wolverines - it's Stalking or RTA's

  4. #4
    Willie, I might be able to loan some Sika antlers. I notice you're round this way. Where abouts is the talk to take place?

    If you're interested, drop me a pm.

  5. #5
    I have a nicely tanned CWD hide that you are more than welcome to borrow for whatever length of time you need, PM me your address and I will post to you.

    As for deer related sayings there is nothing better than ' hindsight'


  6. #6
    I don't think you'll find it hard to keep the attention of the group as long as you keep it interesting and get them as involved as you can. Having stood a stand a few times at county shows we found that the one thing everyone wants is to taste some venison for free. If you can do some cold sliced venison and some sausages you stand a good chance of converting a few of the group to the merits of venison.

  7. #7
    As already mentioned, 20 - 30 minutes tops of talking works best and audience satisfaction drops off quickly as their bums get numb. However, you can get round this by breaking your presentation up and getting them off their seats.

    I would suggest 25 minutes of talk, then get them up on their feet for 15 - 20 minutes of tasting and inspecting of hides, antlers, etc. - finishing off with another 25 minutes of talk. Mix things up (if you can get the facilities) by incorporating pictures, video clips, and audio clips (roaring is always a crowd pleaser).

    I'm sure between all of us we can come up with loads of good ideas and if needed, I'm happy to help with the technical aspects of putting the presentation together.


  8. #8
    I'd start out with some stuff about how deer are not just the Bambis of Disney fame, but that they can have both positive and negative impacts on humans and the environment.

    So I'd include some stuff about TB in deer, and how if their numbers aren't managed, the animals can suffer terribly. A good example being the LACS 'sanctuary' on Exmoor...

    Perhaps also include some figures on the financial aspects. For a start, you could talk about the number of RTAs (and associated injuries/deaths) that involve deer and what that cost the UK economy, as well as the amount of damage a herd of deer can do to agriculture. As a brief example, a herd of red deer cost a local farmer £3,000 in ten days when they hit his swede crop.

    It'd also be worth talking about the environmental issues - how munties are destroying bluebell woods, etc.

    I'd also talk about parasites - ticks, keds, etc.

  9. #9
    SD Regular willie_gunn's Avatar
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    Many thanks for all the suggestions, PM's and kind offers of help. It's much appreciated.

    I know what you mean by the presentation length (sadly I present every week for my "normal" day job), but the talks we are running in the village are all presented by villagers and raising money for village funds, so they really need to last for 60-75 minutes as people are paying for the privilege even if it only a fiver!

    I'll certainly take on the idea of breaking the presentation up by targeting the different aspects of the audience. I've got the CD of different deer calls, which has got good examples of red/roe/sika/muntjac. I'll also start looking out for decent videos, photos and so on, and drop the BDS an email and see if they can help. I gave Dave Goffin some of my own photos a year or so ago so I'll ask for some back I've also got access to plenty of venison for the audience to taste. Mostly, though, the talk is about deer rather than stalking, so I'll probably keep that aspect fairly "light" for this particular audience.

    I've got a few photos of deer damage, though mostly by red deer in Scotland, so if anyone has anything more appropriate for Southern species I'd be interested. I've got some good ones of browse lines, but not much of fraying or nibbled rose bushes!

    Thanks again.

    O wad some Power the giftie gie us to see oursels as ithers see us!

  10. #10
    The Wessex branch of the BDS always put on a good night at the Owls Barn Farm Sopley

    Some things they have included which may be good for yourself included a bit of fun tasting and naming the six species. The winner won some nice Red Stag Antlers

    If the location permits, finding the deer silhouettes in a field and guessing the distance..

    Lining up 10 different skulls, ie fox, badger,cat etc aswell as some deer and have a guess at naming them..

    As said if you can get them off their butts periodically youll keep them more engrossed

    Good luck

    Blessed be the sheeple for they shall inherit bugger all...

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