Last Autumn the DCS sent round a circular to all the members of our local deer management group. It was suspected that a free-living population of Muntjac had been established just up the Strath from Beauly. The usual warnings about the damage to the natural heritage were given along with a request for information on sitings. I did not worry about this much myself as my woodland is mixed conifers and birch with little understory. It is ideal for Sika but would this area suit Muntjac? Then this year I joined a Pheasant shoot on the Black Isle and during the work days saw the huge woods bordering the grain fields filled with tangles of brambles, small shrubs of all kinds and bracken. Years ago when attending meetings it was often said that the Muntjac would do poorly in Scotland due to the snowfall but on the coast there that is not a problem. I wonder then could we have the potential for a fifth deer species here in the Highlands? I remember as a boy witnessing the spread of the Sika and how they blossomed in some areas yet avoided others. The spread was cyclical in that an area would be colonised by a few young stags first, then we would see a hind or two with calves. The population would rise relativly quickly then spill over into surrounding woods. Whether they stayed there depended on the make up of the wood. All very interesting. A lot of you I am sure will have witnessed first hand the spread of the Muntjac so I would be grateful for your observations. Thanks David.