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Thread: Falling deer numbers are threat to Sutherland economy

  1. #1

    Falling deer numbers are threat to Sutherland economy

    Falling deer numbers are threat to Sutherland economy

    Looks like the debate is heating up in the Highlands.

    This calf did not survive the harsh 2010/11 winter

    A WARNING flag has gone up this week over falling deer numbers in Sutherland.
    Sporting estates are being urged to reduce their deer culls because high mortality rates during the recent poor winters have led to a drastic reduction in the county’s deer population.
    A new research paper suggests the economy of the county could be affected if estates persist in heavy deer culls.
    The Scottish Gamekeepers Association (SGA) is unveiling the research document at its annual general meeting in Inverness next Friday, 2nd March.
    It is the first time that the SGA has held its AGM in the Highland capital.
    The new paper, details of which were released earlier this week, is entitled “The Economic Importance of Red Deer to Scotland’s Rural Economy and the Political Threat now facing the country’s Iconic Species.”
    The research was conducted across 20 per cent of Sutherland’s land area. The county was chosen as it is regarded as a stronghold for red deer stalking.
    It includes sporting figures compiled by Inverness chartered accountants Angus and Donald Mackenzie.
    It is understood the paper concludes that sporting estates can no longer afford to cull the same numbers of deer as they have done in previous years.
    Experienced Deeside gamekeeper Peter Fraser wrote an introduction to the research paper.
    He states: “We’re laying our greatest wildlife assets to waste without considering the consequences. And it may already be too late in some places to prevent the devastation from being permanent.”
    Mr Fraser claims some estates are undertaking swingeing deer culls to protect forestry and conservation projects

  2. #2
    Hmmm yes, culling too many - well perhaps in itself, it's a partial cause. Culling too many after SNH fencing across estates, with deer unable to get to their usual wintering shelters as a result of the fencing - particularly with the two very hard Highland winters of 2009/10 & 2010/11.
    The culling of deer in heavy numbers by FC & SNH in recent years, - these factors will not have aided the cause of red deer survival and the SNH heavy handed approach to conserving vegetation/forestation rather than deer is simply nonsense.
    Wild life (Deer) should be considered as much an asset as the protection of forestation, but do both sympathetically.

    The somewhat easier winter of 2011/12 will have been a help, but won't remove the fencing and it will take some years of careful management by estate keepers to restore the red deer stock.
    Blaser K95 Luxus Kipplaufbüchse .25-06Rem. Zeiss 8x56, 110gn Nosler Accubond = Game Over!

  3. #3
    A load of bilge great what crap people can compile, SNH were asked the very question in the last TWO hard winters were the cull figures to be reduced the answer was NO stalkers were still to complete the same culls as normal .


    Fencing in Sutherland mmm thats a new one as well it was all laying at the side of the road last time i was up rolled up waiting to go to the scrappy when something big enough came along all the way from Larig to Altnaharra

  4. #4
    I don't understand.

    There is a high mortality during harsh winters so the answer is to REDUCE the cull?

    How does that work?

    If they are dying then isn't it because of lack of food - I can't imagine they are freezing to death.

    Maybe the culls aren't big enough

  5. #5
    it used to happen most winters when they were harder, deer died and this kept the population in check. many estates were happy with this and allowed thousands of deer to die each winter and early spring it did their job for them. the long run of mild winters and underculling allowed the red deer in scotland to rise from 100,000 in the 1960s to 350,000 within 40 years. not exactly good management. a couple of harder winters in 2009 and 2010 will have killed some deer but there will still be 3 times as many than before. a good bet that there are less estate stalkers and ghillies now than in 1965. more deer, less stalkers. in montana thousands of deer have been wiped out by EHD this followed a hard winter when deer were in poor nick. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/feedarticle/10030828 .
    Be warned the continued greed and poor management of red deer by estates is the thing that threatens deer not forestry, contractors and spotlights.

    I know that this view will not be popular but it is no less true because of that.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by cervus1981 View Post
    it used to happen most winters when they were harder, deer died and this kept the population in check. many estates were happy with this and allowed thousands of deer to die each winter and early spring it did their job for them. the long run of mild winters and underculling allowed the red deer in scotland to rise from 100,000 in the 1960s to 350,000 within 40 years. not exactly good management. a couple of harder winters in 2009 and 2010 will have killed some deer but there will still be 3 times as many than before. a good bet that there are less estate stalkers and ghillies now than in 1965. more deer, less stalkers. in montana thousands of deer have been wiped out by EHD this followed a hard winter when deer were in poor nick. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/feedarticle/10030828 .
    Be warned the continued greed and poor management of red deer by estates is the thing that threatens deer not forestry, contractors and spotlights.

    I know that this view will not be popular but it is no less true because of that.
    You are entitled to your own thoughts, but I think your talking out of your a***

  7. #7
    Its not a popular view thats for sure, but its more or less what I was saying in another thread especially the bit about increasing numbers, and I was shot down in flames a lot on here I would imagine are a younger generation
    that don't remember what deer numbers used to be they see a drop in numbers in recent times but don't realise that they are still much higher than they were forty years ago.

    At the moment its blame the forestry and contractors for all the problems but I worked as a stalker long enough on estates to know what you are talking about.

    Thats not to say forestry is blameless, its not some of their practises in certain areas leave a lot to be desired

  8. #8
    Scotspine ,i agree with the theme of your original thread , yes Sutherland,s economy will suffer without the deer . For the last ten years i have taken a group of lads to shoot hinds north of Inverness . Last year when i went to book i was told" there wasn,t enough surpluss to shoot ". When i mentioned " Oh maybe next year" i was told "i doubt it " . The money we spent Food , drink , fuel Etc will now be spent elsewhere .Simple economics yes Sutherland will suffer finacially.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Gaz View Post
    You are entitled to your own thoughts, but I think your talking out of your a***
    Thank you Gaz for that intelligent contribution. My a*** can at least put forward a reasoned response.

  10. #10
    well said cervus.

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