Did anyone else catch the Farming Today program on Radio 4 this morning? It featured two pieces on deer: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01bycl6#synopsis It's not on iPlayer yet but will be worth a listen to when it is.
The first one was on the importance of deer to the Scottish economy and the danger of over-culling, with a commentary by (I think) the deputy Chairman of the SGA. There was a good discussion on the conflicting objectives between the value of deer to employment and the local economy as opposed to conservation and woodlands. The general view expressed by the SGA was that the heavy culling of the deer population in certain parts of Scotland has now reached the point where there is the potential for a significant impact both on stalking-related jobs and the income brought into the local economy. The spokesman made the good point that the impact is not just on the stalking employees themselves, but also on hotels, tweed factories, shops, etc. The BBC presenter made the argument against deer re: conservation impact on woodland regeneration, RTA's, etc. but all-in-all it was a good item.
This was immediately followed by a piece on stalking in the New Forest, featuring Matthew Davies, a local FC keeper. Matthew and the reporter went out and culled a fallow pricket and then talked about how it gets processed into the food chain. If Matthew is a member of this site, good job , though I figured he can't be, as if he was then immediately after the shot I would have expected to hear the involuntary response of "good shot, reload"
If I was being really picky - and this is just the pedant in me - when talking about fog and public access they mentioned that safety was "an issue". It's not an issue, unless there have been lots of accidents and/or near misses that we haven't read about, but rather a concern. Talking about "issues" will make people think that something needs to be done!