Animal Capture UK (ACUK) - Part of the Jelen Group - successfully captured an entire herd of 24 Pere David deer from a small park near Hockham, Norfolk.
The success of the operation relied on several crucial factors, one of the main ones being the 'conditioning' of the deer for some weeks prior to capture day. We advised Kerrie, the owner, to feed the deer every day from the same vehicle that the animals became accustomed to.
Whilst it was important to use the same vehicle, it was equally important to feed at different times of the day so the animals didn't get accustomed to feeding at regular times. Initially we darted the bulls first and then the most nervous animals. The plan worked perfectly and allowed us to dart all the bulls in less than an hour.
The fewer animals left, the more nervous they became and so as the day wore on, we then began to use two vehicles and one operator located in a tree within woodland where the deer went for cover.
The entire operation was completed in less than 10 hours, with no injuries, and no losses.
ACUK have now engaged two new Live Capture Operators on our National Team. Adam Godley and Deidre Dyer, who after intense training from ACUK and Jelen carried out important administrative and operational duties recording vital data to ensure the well-being of the animals during and after capture. Adam darted his first deer in fine style, and Deidre will be darting her first deer next week during our annual de-antlering work on farms and parks throughout the south and southwest of England.
Remote Chemical injection is now being recognised as a vital aid to the management of park and farmed deer, and this week has proved just how useful it can be in aiding stress-free management and handling of deer.
All those involved worked tirelessly for the whole day, and moving 250 Kg+ onto the top deck of the transporter meant that everyone parted with some sweat! My sincere thanks goes to:
Kerrie Jackson - (Hockham Deer Management Group)
Deidre Dyer - (Researcher & RCI Operator - Jelen Deer Services)
Malcolm Brown - (Director of Jelen Deer Services & RCI Operator)
Adam Godley - (Conservation Consultant & RCI Operator - Jelen Deer Services)
Scott Brown - (Trainee Field Operator & RCI Assistant - Jelen Deer Services)
Andy - (Driver - Gordon Gilder Livestock Transport Ltd.)
Managing Director - Jelen Deer Services