Having spoken to a couple of people starting their own versions I was wondering if anyone was getting progress. Having attended the Best Practice day I have been giving a lot of thought about what would be involved in the new type of DMG required. There is a lot of elements required with structure, stakeholders, accreditation, interested parties, DCS, councils, Scottish Office for trunk roads . While I can see the benefits of an area DMG without a blanket holding company I cannot see the small groups surviving. I would say a DMG would have to be set up taking in the central belt from Glasgow to Edinburgh along the m8-m9 corridor with maybe twenty miles north and south of the motorways. Each geographical area could set up their own local DMG but stake-holding syndicates could be overrun. DCS would have to deal with any or all. Commercial interests would chase every asset. What is required is a venture as was done by the east coast wildfowlers where they looked to amalgamate an area from Tay to the borders down the east coast. They wanted to create a body big enough to have a voice. Remember all current DMG's are commercial interests. Who is to say a commercial interest will not set up such a DMG with DCS feeding the leads into their office. Whatever happens it has to be bigger than lucky dip stalking.
It will require management, professional stalkers, training, legal services, accounting services. If you have ever dealt with government type offices they are looking for a level of professionalism with amateurs shunned no matter how well presented.
Stakeholders will have to include several opposing factions. The stalkers are only a part. Ian Ferguson (FC) said at the Best Practice he would expect his department to have a seat. DCS would have a seat. Local council would want a seat. The woodmen would want a seat. The farmers would want a seat. The last two could be through the DCS office. However the MG stands for management group and that takes in a lot more than just the stalkers.
Accreditation would be required. In the main this will be deer management qualification. Professional standards will have to be impeccable. I would imagine they will go deeper than DSC2. Somewhere along the line a professional stalker will have to be on the cards as roads dept. will not engage a hobby job stalker to clear a problem on a major road.
Interested parties like syndicates on private land, neighbours to cull areas, sporting estates and the like will be unhappy if GI Joe comes along the road and sets up to wipe out every deer that crosses the roadside boundary.
DCS has a stated interest in deer management as stated at Best Practice
Councils and public land ownership has a need for DMG services but the process must be professionally run. (Not necessarily a paid professional but professionally presented)
Professional stalking enterprises. Would deer guides appear in the ranks?
There are a multitude of questions and items here to be discussed. Some will say run with it, Jim while others will tell me to keep my kneb out. However it is trying to find a balance between a stalking syndicate who wants to be accredited with DMG status and reap the rewards and setting up a body capable of survival in a competitive world. It should be for stalkers, managed by stalkers and be capable of expanding our sport and profile. It will cost money. It can produce results. It should also benefit the deer.
I am off out for a couple of hour. There could be some interesting replies before I get back,