It was nice to get the support of the worlds autothority on Roedeer and he sent a nice letter.I sent the letter to the DCS but it was treated with contempt. The surprise to me was to look on the top shelf of the DCS library and see a line of Richard priors books that they have been using for reference.
No one can say this man doesn't know his deer welfare.So if you thought you were wrong to go against some of the proposals here is the letter.
May i also thank Morena for giving me information that backed my Genetics claim it was nice to be backed by such a knowledgeable chap.
RITCHARD PRIOR LETTER TO THE DCS
Roe deer, as a native and beautiful species have their rightful place in the Scottish countryside. Management must be aimed at establishing their place in multiple land use without undue conflict with its other components and without compromising our duty to treat all animals with humanity.. Legislation must find a balance between preservation and repression – one as undesirable as the other.
If the current population is considered too high, would the situation be improved by changing the present legal seasons, incorporating as they do certain exemptions, or does it merely require better and more efficient means for control of damage within them?
The length of the open season for females.
To judge by the research which was done over many years at Chedington in West Dorset, the average fawning date for roe in the South of England is 22nd May, but there are quite marked individual variations round this date. Even at Chedington, for four years [1968-72] the average date was 11 May. My own observations range from April 30 to late June. I have no doubt that some roe kids are born during the second half of April. From time to time stalkers report obviously very young roe kids at other times of the year.
When proposing the legal shooting of near-term pregnant females, an action which is abhorrent to the majority of deerstalkers, the reactions of the general public must also be visualised and taken into consideration. The deer management system could leave itself open to disrepute.
Regarding the dependence of roe kids, the fact is well-established that lactation is prolonged in Scotland when compared to Southern England. This has not been quantified for Central Scotland, but local experience can confirm whether a significant number of does are still in milk in November. If more than odd individuals are involved, it indicates high dependence by the kids in this area during the preceding two months .. A roe kid deprived of its mother while still suckling loses not only this build-up for its first winter, but the learned behaviour patterns essential for survival.
The proposal to abolish the close season for males.
One has to start with the notion that it doesn’t make any difference to a deer whether it is shot in velvet or hard horn or at any time of year
Where I do see very cogent reasons for restricting the shooting of male deer to a period when females need protection because of dependent young is this: in the months when females can properly be shot, the days are short, the weather often appalling and with the added complication in many places of conflict with other activities, such as game shooting, hiking, winter sports and so on, which makes the achievement of a full cull arduous and difficult. Yet the truth has to be faced, no matter what side you take in the reduction of numbers argument that the only way of reducing the breeding herd of any animal is to reduce the number of females.
It follows that if in the period you can legitimately cull females you waste time by taking males, that action defeats the whole object.
Lamping makes deer shy and more difficult to stalk at other times. Identification of species or sex is problematical.
When compared to fox or rabbit shooting, there is a safety element in that instead of aiming at a target about 6 inches or so off the ground, a standing deer presents a more level shot with the risk of the bullet travelling much farther, to the danger of people or livestock. It has, therefore to be restricted to places where undulating ground reduces the risk factor. A general permit would place a heavy burden of responsibility on the individual stalker,
DEERSTALKING IS A SCIENCE