Quite impressive - the BBC seem to be getting more balanced - no anti view this time, or am I beiing lulled into a false sense of security
I've been wanting to try stalking for a while now but I didn't think there was much oppertunity. Hopefully there will now in the near future.
Quite a good and positive report. Interesting when they qoute numbers though. I'd like to know who counted all the Muntjac!
2 million deer in the Uk. Most cull plans aim to shoot about 25-33% of the population each year I believe? So we need to shoot about 500,000 -660,000 per year! How many stalkers are there in the Uk I wonder and how many does each shoot? I've read that the average recreational stalker shoots about 20 animals per year and yet recreational stalkers are supposed to account for 90% of animals taken. I'd be interested to hear how many animals professional stalkers take each year? I would class myself as recreational/semi-professional and probably take about 100 animals per year. If we need to shoot another 100,000 per year as the report suggests then that is quite some target. Without wishing to be a professor of the obvious that is another thousand stalkers shooting 100 animals each!! I know there are many stalkers or potential ones on this site who would love to help out. But will they be given the chance? I doubt it very much. I think the future of stalking is secure no matter what the anti's throw at us.
I would just love to know how they expect to achieve it with all current restrictions and many landowners effectively protecting their deer to make money from them.
There seems to be an upsurge of reports and documentaries like this just recently. Most seem positive and can probably only benefit us I believe.
I haven't been able to listen to the BBC report yet but would urge great caution. It must be remembered that the BBC is the state broadcaster and it often seems the case that "policy changes" are sold and road tested through the media.
So, in the last while we see Countryfile calling for improved deer management and now we see news items on the same subject plus there has been a generally higher media profile for stalking recently. I don't for one minute believe this increase in reporting about deer is a random event. Nor do I believe that deer numbers have suddenly gone through the roof in the last 2 months.
Next thing we know someone in government is on tv stating that there is clear public demand for better deer management, those doubting this need only look at the media logs for the last few months, and this is closely followed by legislation with the implication that it is what the public wants. Now there is always the possibility of a positive benefit but when something is media managed in this way it is usually to create a divide and conquer type situation.
My concen would be, and I've no evidence for this at all, that they are attempting to create public support for deer management and that the group who will be conquered will be the recreational stalker. We need only cast our minds back to the hunting ban where all those who hunt were painted as rich toffs enjoying their murderous sport off the backs of the common peasants in the countryside. I can easily see how vulnerable we are wandering, as we do, the countryside with "powerful rifles that will kill innocent children at a distance of miles" with no state control over where we point the rifle at any given moment. Add in the fact that stalking requires many hundreds of acres of land and so is, quite clearly, the "sport of rich toffs who sometimes have no qualifications at all to use a high power rifle that kills children who are miles away" and throw in a couple of the loony green nutters and we have a big problem. I can easily see it being pointed out that you need to take practical and written tests to get behind the wheel of a car and yet rich toffs who have taken no test to prove their safety and skill are wandering the countryside every day with high powered rifles. The green nutters will throw in some video of a deer "wounded by un-regulated recreational stalkers blasting away at the poor fluffy bunny animals" and we have big trouble.
Am I right? Well, I hope not. On the other hand we have seen similar media management tricks used to damn other law abiding country folk who don't comply with the urban/green nutter agenda. With this in mind I would encourage anyone approached by the media about their stalking to contact someone like BASC and get their media relations people on the job.
Caorach could well be right in the past a lot of things like this
have been turned around to come back at us
I think we might be being a bit paranoid here fella's. Yes, public awareness has been raised recently for a number of reasons, the main probably being that people are now seeing deer everywhere! I've just done an RTA in the middle of a town this evening! Programs like Autumn watch and countryfile have raised an awareness in people that these creatures do exist in the British Isles after all. There certainly hasn't been a huge increase in the last two months as none would have been born since about June, but the population this year will now be at a higher level than ever.
The public are demanding that deer are managed properly - and rightly so! However, I don't believe that is aimed at removing trained and qualified stalkers whether they are recreational or not. The powers that be have admitted that 90% of animals are culled by recreational types. Poachers with shotguns and dogs are the likely target which are getting the really bad press. You mention recreational stalkers being conquered - by who!
The government don't have a large store of professional stalkers eagerly waiting to steal our grounds from us as far as I know. If anything, more professional stalkers would be promoted from the ranks of the recreational ones. There are probably a few on here that have lost jobs recently that would love to get paid for doing what they love.
The media will jump on any bandwagon that interests the masses and sells stories. Most people I talk to are genuinly interested in wild deer and are curious to know more. Many are under the impression that they are a protected species until they are educated otherwise. Programs like the one above are doing that for us and making what we do acceptable. Culling with a rifle is the only humane way at present to control numbers. As long as you do it properly and within the law you should have nothing to worry about. As the man on the telly said, we need to shoot 100,000 more each year. What makes you think you will therefore end up with nothing?
Another scare mongering programme, like the rest that have been on the national and local news lately ,having followed these up to find who instigated the interested in the deer .
I was told it was road traffic campaigners that were doing the most shouting ,about deer numbers, one of the comments that was brought back to them, was that cars and other motor vehicles ,could always slow down in vulrenable areas ,the road traffic campaigners had very little to say after that comment ,as most of the accident areas had signage showing wild animals crossing sign.
This is where the local stalker should be approaching the local authorities, with a positive cull plan, showing interest in helping out in these problem areas ,after all the roads and verges are owned by the local councils ,if properly done and cull plans and risk assessment are put in place, there is nothing to stop the local stalker ,carrying out the work on the local authorities behalf, paid or unpaid would be another issue .
You certainly might be right Monkey Spanker and I hope you are. The only way to tell is book mark the thread and come back to it in 5 years time.
Well SNH ,DCS and the FC have been applying pressure up here in Scotland for a few years now. The main emphasis is on designated ground and they want to see deer (and livestock) managed in a way that is in balance with the environment.
Areas where RTA's are commonplace also come under the spotlight.
I'm a forester so tend to side with them as I believe deer numbers are generally too high.Personally I would endorse any system that would see more "hands on the deck" in an effort to regulate deer numbers. I would reward the guys who put the effort in (and get things right) with more stalking elsewhere, targeting the areas that need it most.
I think things are changing and deer numbers will be reduced to more acceptable levels.I also believe that this can be done without ruining sporting prospects....where's me flak jacket...