It's looking increasingly likely I could be successful in picking up the deer management of a 400-500 acre farm. The farmer does not presently permit shooting on his land, but has a problem with deer numbers and I clearly said something right, as he has said he is now open to discussing further. He just needs to speak to his son but said that will just be a formality as 'Dad will just tell him'.
Although confident enough of the practical elements (stalking, marksmanship, gralloching, butchering), my challenge is a distinct lack of experience around actual deer management. I have the BDS manual which provides some very helpful details around the general deer management approach; risk assessment, population census and into the cull plan. However, would some of the more experienced members be able to offer any practical advice how best to approach? Passing DSC1 a few weeks back, I had been mulling over whether to look for a more extended deer management course, but would equally not like to delay things waiting to attend such a course.
The farmer is extremely safety conscious and does not want the deer just shot. Rather, he wants them managed properly and responded very positively to what I said around just controlling numbers, taking out sick or weak animals and keeping good bloodlines. It's an amazing opportunity and one I really don't want to mess up. Any thoughts and guidance appreciated. It would be good to go to our first proper meeting armed with a clearer idea on what to propose e.g.
1. Map recce of land and boundaries
2. General briefing and discussion of arrangements such as for informing him when coming onto and leaving he land and arrangements for sharing carcasses (he has stated he doesn't want paying, but I have offered to share the carcasses with him, presenting him with oven ready cuts).
3. Sign permission slip
4. Walk around with farmer if he can spare the time (start risk assessment)
5. Walk around on my own (complete risk assessment and start observing deer locations)
6. Conduct population count/sampling and produce proposed cull plan
7. Present, discuss and agree risk assessment and cull plan
8. Start to implement cull plan.
Thanks in advance for any help and guidance offered