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Thread: DCS Proposals

  1. #1

    DCS Proposals

    Wondered what members thought of the recent DCS proposals to change aspects of Scottish deer legislation, mainly with regard to red deer?

    The one which has upset a lot of professional stalkers, myself included, is the proposal to abolish the stag season altogether. My main gripe is that in a female biased population, why turn management into a free for all on stags? Granted stags are perhaps more likely to cause damage on agricultural ground/in forestry,but it seems to me like they are being made a scapegoat as they are an easy target. If there is a change of legislation due to these proposals it will mean that most of these stags will be shot just beyond the current season, and in the spring when they are seeking any fresh grass coming through. Stags are vulnerable at this time because physically they are at their lowest ebb, having lost a great proportion of their weight during the rut and having to start growing new antlers in the spring. The thought of shooting Knackered,smelly,black stags at that time of year while they are desperately trying to recoup some body condition absolutely disgusts me.

    People have worked hard to promote venison and get it known(rightly) as the superb natural food that it is, what are the dealers going to do with the tainted meat they will receive at that time of year? I dont know anybody who manages deer who would eat a stag killed then. Great PR for venison.

    The pro tree and anti estate lobby have for years tried to give people the impression that there is an inexhaustable supply of deer out there and given deer the status of vermin(sometimes only for political reasons too).Public opinion is turning against deer because of this.

    Public meetings have been held to discuss the ''problem'' of deer on the road-generally called for by people who have moved into more rural areas to enjoy the ''good life''-the countryside,scenery and wildlife-and then decide that on their convenience trips/commute back to town that these animals that have to cross the road that have been there for hundreds of years are actually an inconvenience. (its also got nothing to do with the fact that roads and cars have got so much faster over the last ten years-is this the fault of the deer?) Also no mention of the thousands of acres of tradational wintering ground that deer have been fenced out of over the last 20 years in the name of native woodland regeneration(which I'm all for), again though, no fault of the deer.

    Red deer in scotland are an iconic species,a national asset and source of employment, they are also a key part of the biodiversity and environment that so many people would have them eradicated from to ''protect''. Surely they should be managed as such.

    Look forward to hearing everybody's ideas.

  2. #2
    T.
    I would of thought that the proposals to abolish the stag season is to reduce the amount of hinds that will be served in the rut thus eventually having the same effect as reducing the hind numbers..

    regards
    griff

  3. #3
    I don't suppose it has even crossed their minds to consider the effects it might have on genetic diversity.


    Sad boys, sad.

  4. #4
    Instead of a few realy good stags servicing the hinds; because of the shortage all of the crap stags will get their ends away as well so it will reduce the overall standard of the species that natural selection and sympethetic culling has acheived over hundreds of years.

    Dave

  5. #5
    Davie
    Guest
    It seems we really have a problem in Scotland and the DCS will certainly be part of that problem while in a few hot spots there are too many deer there are places were there are none. But the problem i see with this strategy is we will be letting the sika stags cover the hinds if we remove the reds stags. Already every one is up in arms about the Red Gene pool but the consequences of removing the red stags in great numbers is unmeasurable.The DCS with all the pro stalkers should set a mass sika cull and make sure the red breeds as true as it can .This would also have the effect of bringing the number of deer doing damage to trees down and every stalker knows that the sika will damage 10 the trees a red deer will.

  6. #6
    I thought that the "deregulation" proposal was for ALL SPECIES OF DEER not just Red.

    A means of giving more time to those "managers" who were not efficient or willing to do what was necessary, when necessary?

    Remember, there are a great many land owners who choose to allow deer to amass to a level that impact upon agriculture, SSSI, road traffic etc. and there is zero management.

    Keep your own backyard clean and no one will tell you how to do it, or even turn up and clean it for you

    Stan

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by smullery
    I thought that the "deregulation" proposal was for ALL SPECIES OF DEER not just Red.

    A means of giving more time to those "managers" who were not efficient or willing to do what was necessary, when necessary?

    Remember, there are a great many land owners who choose to allow deer to amass to a level that impact upon agriculture, SSSI, road traffic etc. and there is zero management.

    Keep your own backyard clean and no one will tell you how to do it, or even turn up and clean it for you

    Stan
    Cheers chaps, some interesting thoughts.

    Griff, the DCS, to quote their own ''best practice guidance'' in a sporting management situation reccommend that ''it is best to aim for an equal male/female sex ratio'' so what they are proposing contradicts that.

    Greater hybridisation with sika, in some areas could become a reality, although this will also depend on the amount of hinds available to the sika stags.

    Stan I dont know of any land where the situation exists that you talk about, although this is exactly the kind of perception that many people in certain bodies would like to give. Landowners cant afford not to manage their deer, whether for financial or environmental reasons. If you could tell me any large area of land where there is the ''Zero management' that you talk about I would be very interested to hear of it. Even on land that has no full time deer manager employed, there are very few places that do not have somebody involved in managing the deer, you only have to look at the demand for stalking to realise why that is the case.

    Deer numbers/densities on any given piece of ground are only either too high or too low depending on your management objectives. Deer management is a form of land use and the impact that they have depends on how you are trying to manage the land.

    In the past in some areas deer have perhaps been allowed to overpopulate, but then again its all relative.
    I work in an area where deer densities are very low overall, but these proposals could still be very damaging to our business and my employment.

    As for keeping our own backyard clean.....deer stalking certificates,meat hygiene courses,habitat assesments,new larders.......the list goes on.

  8. #8
    Traveller,

    Around Castle Douglas there are plenty of syndicated plots of land that see few members on it. Pub talk is of plenty of Roe on under shot land, taking the piss out of neighbouring stalkers. Bit obvious really.

    There's a garden centre near Gatehouse of Fleet that is raided by Roe but the owner of the adjacent land "likes to see deer".

    Same with a mate who is in Sowerby Bridge near Halifax. Market garden with Orchard plagued by Roe but little safe shots on it. Backstop in one direction is a bit of a rise between Tesco's and a school!!!

    Adjacent land where the deer come from could be shot safely but the owner doesn't want it.

    Locally to me here in Lincoln is a DMG set up by three local landowners and a couple of woodland trusts. They want 100% zero tolerance. FC rangers from elsewhere come in a few times a year and kill everything. Not stalking just eradication.

    Stan

  9. #9
    Hi Stan

    Think we're talking about different management scenarios and parts of the country here. I was really talking about red deer in their tradational ranges.

    Cheers

    Traveler

  10. #10
    Traveller,

    The point is that the DCS proposals are not targetting the traditional estates managing revenue out of commercial stalking. They have no interest in that as it isn't a problem or issue.

    Stan

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