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Thread: BASC own goal

  1. #1

    BASC own goal

    When a lot of effort is being expended by us in Scotland to prevent the Red Deer being classified as virtually vermin, I was very disappointed to read the editorial by the chief executive John Swift in the latest BASC mag. I quote"burgeoning deer numbers are damaging woodlands and causing many other public concerns". Does he not realize what a gift he has just presented to the SNH,RSPB and DSC lobby. I can just hear them justifying their policy with "well the chief of BASC agrees with us. He has just said so much in print." I felt much the same way as I did on the London march in support of hunting when I heard a hunt supporter giving an interview for a regional TV channel say the hunt performs a good service cutting short the suffering of foxes wounded by the shooters. At least he was just an ordinary bloke. Mr Swift in his paid, high profile position should know better. His words should be examined line by line so they cant be used as ammo by those who would regulate us out of existance. Some poeple will not be happy till our largest wild land dwelling mammal is reduced to a rarity. David

  2. #2

    Are there or are there not burgeoning deer numbers? Is that not a reason for recreational stalkers? Fewer deer numbers indicate no "need" for them therefore why should they be?

    Heads or tails?

    Either way the same information can be used by both sides.


  3. #3
    Well I think that there are too many deer on balance and that the Wildlife and Natural Environment Bill (deer section) could have been shortened to say “You have been told to reduce deer numbers until we are blue in the face; get the job in hand or we will do it for you….oh, and if we can get away with it we will insist everyone has to be certificated and regulated”

    My view is that reducing numbers will not ruin stalking but provide more opportunities, as keeping numbers in check requires many more man hours per beast than traditional culling. I would advise landowners to come up with a deer management plan sooner rather than later before the SNH et al do it for them. In the meantime, I hope that a well supported campaign may dilute the Bill’s proposals re costly training and regulatory mechanisms.


  4. #4

    Remember, it isn't just Red, but all deer that the season removal is changed.


  5. #5
    Is it not the case that in some area deer numbers are growing rapidly?

    As has been said if deer numbers were falling rapidly - where does that put the recreational stalker?

    I would agree that good deer management in the UK will increase the number of stalkers / stalking opportunities for the reasons already posted.


  6. #6
    There are plenty of stalkers willing to do the job. The problem is that the deer are increasing mainly in the large conifer bocks this was due to the greed and short sighted view of the forestry groups. We will take the highest bidder mentality brought about this farce. They are still using this attitude because they are bankruptcy and have been for the last 4 years.
    It is greed that keeps the lads from the deer not there ability ask all the ones that come out and pay large sums of money to do it. Are deer in large numbers in the central belt were we have no reds i don't think so it surprises me how intolerant we Scots are to deer when per acre in England they are more than happy to have deer.

  7. #7
    I think my views on deer numbers are known to those that have read some of my previous posts but I shall say it again.
    I do not think that we have a large problem with high deer numbers in most areas of Scotland. There are places that are currently wiping out their deer populations under the guise of re forestation, re generation or any other supposed cause thay think of at the time. Are we seeing adverts in the press asking for help with these slaughters - NO. Opportunities for recreational stalkers are not increasing if anything they are reducing. Its not that long ago that a mere mortal could be part of a sindicate on FC land, this is not now the case. We now have to have DSC 1 & 2.
    So for the people that are saying we have too many deer and that this will give us more stalking opportunities I'd say they were looking at this through rose tinted specs.
    The "professionals" may get more stalking but not the mere mortals.

  8. #8

    BASC own goal

    It may be true that deer are in overly large numbers in a few limited areas. I think this has more to do with fencing and artificial feeding. It was the unqualified, blanket statement that I objected to. Stalkers will always be needed to control deer as long as the country remains free from any natural predator. Most politicians get their information second hand that is why we have to be careful as to how things are said. It is often quoted that we have more deer now than were present in the middle ages. Then why are the Red Deer absent from the huge tracts of sparsly populated land in the central borders? Often ditching work digs up very spectacular heads from past times. As for deer control plans-any half decent deer manager should have one but a few years ago an agent drew one up for me in support of a forest re-structuring plan. The first line read" remove all deer". This I think is wrong. These animals were here before we were and evolution has given them a place and purpose. David,

  9. #9
    Everyone on here is making a big deal about the actual deer numbers, which are very hard to count accurately. i read a book by ronnie rose a few years ago in which he said its not the total number but the fact more and more people are using the uplands and forcing the deer to other smaller areas away from the hill walkers. this is especially bad in the winte3r if the deer are forced up the hill onto the fairly fragile vegetation which cannot recover from gettin grazed and trampled all year. if we want to look after them we should be limiting the public access not new footpaths and right to roam.

    also on a similar subject and this new bill how do english stalkers and deer managers cope with the longer open seasons (9 month)on bucks/stags. a lot has been made of the abolution of closed season in scotland and red stags considered as vermin. does this happen down south. do rogue estates hammer the stags after the rut jist to get the cull numbers. or do most estates respect them. sorry for going of topuic a wee bit.

  10. #10
    Perhaps we should be looking at a long term plan. I also think that there are only a few areas where the numbers are high but not out of control. As has been previously stated, the FC have created some of these problems with DSC1 AND 2 but these I support. What I dont support is the change of restrictions so that there is a limited number of people per syndicate. This allows people with large bank balances the ability to get on the lease but doesn't necessarily mean that they can control the numbers, especially from 4 or 5 hundred miles away.

    Also, what is the rationale behind culling males in an extended season? If they want to reduce numbers, then you have to remove the females, not the males. Are they trying to protect environments from fraying and brashing damage? If so then remove the males, but they cant have it all ways.

    I read in a post on this site before about someone who travelled up from the south of England to stalk on the Mull of Kintyre. He shot 2 stags out of season, but with a license (thats ok). Whats not ok in my book is that during the hind season the person chose to shoot stags that were with hinds..................mmmmmm. The forester would want less mouths first, so that means shooting the hinds first and the stags later as they can be shot when the hind season finishes. This boils down to trophy hunting and the wrong decisions being made for the management of deer on that area and in particular for the requirements of the forester within that wood.

    off soapbox now

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