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Thread: The so called deer explosion

  1. #1

    The so called deer explosion

    Some years ago when the DI pushed themselves onto the scene as the deer group that the govenment should take there lead from (and all that lovely EU dosh), they informed us all that there was a "deer explosion" in the UK and numbers had to be drastically reduced.

    I thought it was a bunch of BS then and still do.

    I would agree that fallow numbers were too high in some areas and on some parts of the hill hind numbers needed to be reduced.

    I think both have been more than addressed and that too many deer are being culled for no other reason than the price they make at the game dealers.

    What do you think, incoming welcome

    Max

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Max View Post
    I thought it was a bunch of BS then and still do.

    I think both have been more than addressed and that too many deer are being culled for no other reason than the price they make at the game dealers.

    Max
    Or overkill to protect a few acres of re-forestation.

    Like you Max I also think it is a load of bull. I have had so many arguments with Deer Commission staff over numbers in the past I have given up. My favourite is when they guess at numbers with a dung count

    Can anyone tell me how many times a Sika in the Scottish Borders does a crap? Is it one deer crapping 6 times a day or 6 deer crapping once? I assume that the number of craps a deer does in a day is possibly governed by what and the quality of what they eat. It's all a load of crap.

    Deer on a hill can be seen and estimated, deer in our woods are like ghosts at times.

    I also agree on the cash incentive too. Like it was way back during the outbreak of mad coo disease when the price was well up over 2 per pound. In my opinion actually a true worth of venison.

  3. #3
    Depends where you are.... the worst areas need sorting and the best areas should be left well alone.
    Forestry is a legitimate landuse and I think deer management should be dictated by the forester.
    Much of my experience re deer counts is that the count is usually an underestimate of actual numbers. A few examples follow:-
    A smallish forestry block (fenced) which was suffering from overgrazing was emptied by a team of stalkers following much encouragement from the forester. It was thought a couple of stags were inside but 13 deer were shot.
    A 200ha enclosure was obviously full of deer but everyone involved in the cull was amazed to see the total at the end of the first season hit 89 (90%Sika). 40 were taken the next season.
    A large area was deemed to have so few deer on it the thought was that culling was not essential let alone fencing. Over 100 deer were culled in short order and double that in the next full season.
    Of course I’m biased, but I can assure you that for every area that is under-populated there is one that is over-populated. I do not like dung counting either…the vegetation is often the best way to determine deer density.

    Regards

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by scotspine View Post
    Depends where you are.... the worst areas need sorting and the best areas should be left well alone.
    Forestry is a legitimate landuse and I think deer management should be dictated by the forester.
    Much of my experience re deer counts is that the count is usually an underestimate of actual numbers. A few examples follow:-
    A smallish forestry block (fenced) which was suffering from overgrazing was emptied by a team of stalkers following much encouragement from the forester. It was thought a couple of stags were inside but 13 deer were shot.
    A 200ha enclosure was obviously full of deer but everyone involved in the cull was amazed to see the total at the end of the first season hit 89 (90%Sika). 40 were taken the next season.
    A large area was deemed to have so few deer on it the thought was that culling was not essential let alone fencing. Over 100 deer were culled in short order and double that in the next full season.
    Of course I’m biased, but I can assure you that for every area that is under-populated there is one that is over-populated. I do not like dung counting either…the vegetation is often the best way to determine deer density.

    Regards
    I agree to some extent, but the superb condition of some of the Sika on our ground at the time would also suggest that they were in balance with their environment and available food.

    I'm afraid I swing the other way and it would appear from his post, so does Max. Deer first, forestry second but I aint trying to make a living from trees

    If I ever win the lottery...

  5. #5
    I believe I have read somewhere that deer crap approx 20 - 24 times per day. I guess what this means is that if you find one day old deer crap then in stats terms a deer has been in that area for one hour in the last 24. If the crap is 3 days old and there is no other close by then in stats terms I guess that tells you that a deer has been in the area for one hour, about 3 days ago, since the beginning of time. Of course we all know that the deer will only actually take a few seconds to leave their mark behind but if they only do it once an hour then that is the resolution of our scheme I guess.

    On another subject - I have access to some forestry with a very high deer population. It is a small area of about 35 acres that has a hefted group of about 20 sika hinds plus calves and at times like during the rut it can hold significantly more deer. Now, clearly all these deer are not getting all their feeding from 35 acres but are moving out at night to feed elsewhere. However, the forest is doing well and there is actually some natural regeneration evident despite the relatively huge deer numbers per acre. Vegetation does get eaten and this is very obvious but even so there are often some interesting plants on the ground so it isn't a plant wasteland.

  6. #6
    ive tried to reply twice now why are my replys being blocked?

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by inversanda View Post
    ive tried to reply twice now why are my replys being blocked?
    It's because you haven't spelt Scotish correctly

  8. #8
    ive registered logged in , and i get you do not have permission to carry out this action (ok iam new ) so what am i doing wrong

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamross65 View Post
    Or overkill to protect a few acres of re-forestation.

    Like you Max I also think it is a load of bull. I have had so many arguments with Deer Commission staff over numbers in the past I have given up. My favourite is when they guess at numbers with a dung count

    Can anyone tell me how many times a Sika in the Scottish Borders does a crap? Is it one deer crapping 6 times a day or 6 deer crapping once? I assume that the number of craps a deer does in a day is possibly governed by what and the quality of what they eat. It's all a load of crap.

    Deer on a hill can be seen and estimated, deer in our woods are like ghosts at times.

    I also agree on the cash incentive too. Like it was way back during the outbreak of mad coo disease when the price was well up over 2 per pound. In my opinion actually a true worth of venison.
    Best way of counting deer on the ground is to count their legs and then divide it by 4

  10. #10
    I don't think deer numbers really matter!
    All a deer census normally proves is how difficult it is to accurately assess deer numbers!
    Sure, it may be easy for reds on the open hill, but try accurately counting muntjac, fallow, or sika in a large heavily wooded area and it becomes little more than an educated guess!

    What is more important, is the IMPACT they are having as this will ultimately decide whether there are too many or not!

    10 Muntjac in a mature conifer block will have little impact and may be acceptable, whereas 10 Muntjac in an enclosed rose farm would be less than ideal!
    I used to base my cull activities on how many deer I had seen, until I did some impact assessment training. It opened my eyes to a whole different view of deer management, and enabled me to appreciate the view through the eyes of a forester or woodland manager. I used to chase all around one particular estate taking deer all over the place and using up much of my time and effort. I then realised that the only real damage was being done in just one particular wood and concentrated my efforts there. The wood was an absolute magnet for deer as it was full of nice re-generation food and very soon the damage was done. The more I shot, the more came in off the rest of the estate to fill the vacuum i had created. Before too long, the wood population was reduced to an acceptable level, and the rest of the estate was virtually free from deer!

    I think I may have strayed slightly 'Off-Piste' there from the original question, but what I am trying to say is that different areas are able to hold different capacities of deer, which makes the numbers irrelevant.
    If there is excessive damage to trees and crops, excessive RTA's, malnourishment, disease, etc,
    then there are too many deer!
    I hope my ramblings make sense?
    MS

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