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Thread: Deer Numbers Scotland

  1. #1

    Deer Numbers Scotland

    I get a lot of hunters from england always going on about the deer numbers in scotland, it seems in popular magazines and reviews deer are always out of control in scotland and destroying our habitat, I am fed up with this as I trully beleive the deer numbers are reasonable and in my area deer numbers have slowly went down year after year because of increased shooting all year round and at night, does anyone think or know that we have a problem with over grazing deer that are destroying our landscape as I think they are not that bad, and does anyone know how many reds are in scotland ?

  2. #2
    This ha been done to death send it to your MSP mate.

  3. #3
    OK don't shoot the messenger these are published figures not mine.

    1960 100,000

    1970 155, 000 powers that be think this is about the figure we can sustain

    Mid 1980s 300, 000


    2005 400,000

    present day 300,000
    Last edited by bogtrotter; 26-02-2012 at 12:45.

  4. #4
    I believe the published figures are a fair reflection of whats happened over the last five decades i.e a general increase to a peak last decade followed by a decrease in the last wee while. I've worked in north Scotland since the mid eighties and noticed the increase. As a forester I see the damage to commercial tree crops and to the native woodland. It is the native woodland which have suffered the most as they have failed to regenerate for generations and many remmnant blocks have declined or disappeared. Deer and sheep are the two main culprits but in many areas deer are now public enemy number one.

    The poor condition of hill ground has also come under scrutiny (SSSIs and SACs in particular) and again deer are part of the problem.

    As I see it deer numbers will need to come down if the above issues are to be addressed; it has already started however its not over yet as many of the sites will be monitored for some time to come. Also note that other areas are about to come under management this next year or two.

    I've posted before on this subject (woodland sites) stating that I like the short, sharp shock approach. This would involve fencing all or part of the project site, shooting every deer inside and dropping the fence as soon as regeneration is robust. Then repeat on another chunk of ground until all is well. This approach will achieve the objectives without ruining adjacent ground, from a sporting point of view. I don't like the cull a bit/monitor a bit/cull a bit more approach as both sides often loose out as the deer herd dwindles and the regeneration is below par; plus it all happens over a protracted period.

    regards

  5. #5
    Well it looks like iam wrong and deer numbers are increasing, and your right about fencing a bit off, shoot everything and then open up when the frees get big enough, i do that myself, also been trying to get regen on the open hill, have discovered that to get trees growing and staying growing you need deer down to about 2 per 100 ha's.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by bogtrotter View Post
    OK don't shoot the messenger these are published figures not mine.

    1960 100,000

    1970 155, 000 powers that be think this is about the figure we can sustain

    Mid 1980s 300, 000


    2005 400,000

    present day 300,000
    These numbers for for red deer. Now add roe, sika both expanding numbers and range and local fallow population and 500,000 would probably not be an underestimate.

    I am sure that in some areas numbers of red will be down but in others have increased.

  7. #7
    Cervus you bring up a very good point and seeing first hand what sika do in a wood i think they are harder on trees than reds . Roe have no real lasting effect and can be kept of trees with a plastic pipe.

    Sika numbers even in this cull everything times have increased there numbers and a different approach will be needed or we will loose our iconic Red Deer only to be faced by a far greater alien pest.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by 6pointer View Post
    Cervus you bring up a very good point and seeing first hand what sika do in a wood i think they are harder on trees than reds . Roe have no real lasting effect and can be kept of trees with a plastic pipe.

    Sika numbers even in this cull everything times have increased there numbers and a different approach will be needed or we will loose our iconic Red Deer only to be faced by a far greater alien pest.
    You mention plastic keeping roe off the trees a FC ranger told me that is thier aim (FC) to be able to plant broadleaves without plastic,bad news if your a deer....

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by 6pointer View Post
    Roe have no real lasting effect and can be kept of trees with a plastic pipe.
    Not sure about the economics of plastic pipes on big areas or if plastic can be used on firs and spruces. Perhaps Scotspine can comment as a forester?

  10. #10
    We have them all over the place in the central belt areas thousands of acres and they are reusable they are not normally round pines because roe deer don't bother them to much unless really pushed for food but i have seen them round Larch with great success.

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