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Thread: Respect for the Deer

  1. #1

    Respect for the Deer

    I was very interested in the old pictures posted by Stag1933 and I thank him for them. What did catch my eye though was the comment about respecting the quarry. You all will probably have seen the "Hunters Video" series filmed by scandinavians and marvalled at the hugh Swedish Roebucks or Hungarian Stags and cringed as Eric Petersen makes another cock-up. They do demonstrate however the public respect for the shot animal in their custom of "the last meal" and the saluting the rows of deer at the end of the day. I have been told these customs originated in Bavaria and have spread all over Europe to Scandinavia. We in Britain are immune or have we always been? My Grand father followed his father who had followed his father into the post of Stalking Ghillie on an estate in Banffshire. This went right back to the days when stalkers used muskets. Indeed my great grandfather kept the last proper working pack of Deerhounds to exist as such. I have an old photo taken in 1890 of him in front of the Blackwater shooting lodge with 7 couple of Scottish Deerhounds.These dogs were taken to the hill in pairs and loosed at any deer wounded by the guests. This would often happen as firearms were poor in performance in these days. The respect these old lads showed for the deer would in my opinion put a lot of us to shame nowadays. When I was about 11 years old my Grandfather took me out to shoot my first deer , a roebuck. I was a bit frightened of him then,so did exactly as he said and when we stood looking down at the fallen deer I quickly bent down to bleed it eager to show him I knew what to do next. He gruffly scolded me for not showing respect first and got me to repeat a line which would be in Gaelic originally. It went"I am sorry I have killed you when we meet again in the next life may your spirit forgive mine." I now get all my guests to do the same with everthing they shoot especially if it is their first. I am very pleased to say I have never had anyone scoff and they all agree that it is a worthy custom to perpetuate. David.

  2. #2
    I agree that we have lost a certain folk tradition with our hunting. However I think that if you read many posts on here you will find a huge amount of respect, although we may not all have a formall ceremony of doing it. I myself allways say sorry to a beast as I walk up to it, just a habit but still a sign of respect.

    I think that through the way hunting went in the UK , i.e. large sporting estates and shooting becoming an elitist past time caused the loss of a lot of our traditions as well as creating many pseudo victorian ones!

  3. #3
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    David

    I read your post with interest, as I'd also picked up on Stag1933's comment about respect for deer. When I first read it, personally I felt a bit aggrieved, as I've always been taught to respect quarry - whether that's deer, pheasant, pigeons, foxes, rabbits, trout or salmon. When stalking, it's rare for me to look through the scope and not have at least some regret that I'm about to end another animal's life, combined with the hope that I kill the animal cleanly.

    However, I also recognise that not everyone thinks the same way. The discouraging thing is stalkers/clients who treat deer simply as moving targets - when they've shot one they just want to move on to the next. They appear to have no interest in deer management, just deer killing.

    I've often admired the traditions that the continentals have with regards to quarry, but I think we need to be careful about necessarily equating tradition with respect. I was 'blooded' when I shot my first Highland stag , recognised the tradition and had no problem with it, but I'm not sure everyone would classify this as respect.

    It's generally accepted that stalking is becoming more popular. When I started stalking I was lucky enough to be mentored by someone who is not only a first-class deer manager and stalker himself, but who also has a very strong interest in the natural history of deer and other animals. Every stalking outing was a lesson. But with the volume of stalkers starting out today there are simply not enough mentors to go round. We all have a role to play, but I also see this as somewhere that the organisations (BASC, BDS, St Hubert's, the Stalking Directory, etc.) can really help.

    At the end of the day we can't blame stalkers for having no respect for the quarry if they've never been told/taught any different.

    willie_gunn

  4. #4
    Sweden, respect after the hunt.

    HWH.


  5. #5
    I believe the market place is, inadvertently, partly to blame for the lack of respect for a quarry. When a deer is worth more than someones days wages, a "kill at all costs" attitude can develope.
    Am i wrong?
    basil.

  6. #6
    Quote form DCS web site - "disseminates best practice, assists in training, works with other agencies on wider policy issues, and advises Scottish Ministers on all deer matters in Scotland. In all its activities the Commission seeks a co-operative and consultative approach."

    Where was the respect shown to the Red Deer of Glenfeshie or Mar Lodge! and this is the body that is meant to look after the deer!
    Co-operative and consultative approach, what crap.
    An icon of Scotland that is being driven to extinction in some places and a lot more places if they get there way.

  7. #7
    A Braemar / Mar Lodge Stag of yesteryear before the massacre.

    HWH.


  8. #8
    SS i am with you on that one how can we expect the next generation to show respect when we are removing seasons to protect deer and give them grace to live in peace allowing night licences across the board and shooting the deer that are in our very nature reserves. Looked up at a post in a bill board to day its says i have reserved a place for you.Its a picture of a mountain area in scotland not a wild animal insight.

  9. #9

    Re: Respect for the Deer

    Quote Originally Posted by David Brown
    I was very interested in the old pictures posted by Stag1933 and I thank him for them. What did catch my eye though was the comment about respecting the quarry. You all will probably have seen the "Hunters Video" series filmed by scandinavians and marvalled at the hugh Swedish Roebucks or Hungarian Stags and cringed as Eric Petersen makes another cock-up. They do demonstrate however the public respect for the shot animal in their custom of "the last meal" and the saluting the rows of deer at the end of the day. I have been told these customs originated in Bavaria and have spread all over Europe to Scandinavia. We in Britain are immune or have we always been? My Grand father followed his father who had followed his father into the post of Stalking Ghillie on an estate in Banffshire. This went right back to the days when stalkers used muskets. Indeed my great grandfather kept the last proper working pack of Deerhounds to exist as such. I have an old photo taken in 1890 of him in front of the Blackwater shooting lodge with 7 couple of Scottish Deerhounds.These dogs were taken to the hill in pairs and loosed at any deer wounded by the guests. This would often happen as firearms were poor in performance in these days. The respect these old lads showed for the deer would in my opinion put a lot of us to shame nowadays. When I was about 11 years old my Grandfather took me out to shoot my first deer , a roebuck. I was a bit frightened of him then,so did exactly as he said and when we stood looking down at the fallen deer I quickly bent down to bleed it eager to show him I knew what to do next. He gruffly scolded me for not showing respect first and got me to repeat a line which would be in Gaelic originally. It went"I am sorry I have killed you when we meet again in the next life may your spirit forgive mine." I now get all my guests to do the same with everthing they shoot especially if it is their first. I am very pleased to say I have never had anyone scoff and they all agree that it is a worthy custom to perpetuate. David.
    Interesting read, i remember looking at an old photo of your great grandfathers deerhounds and laughing at the name of one of the hounds...muckle b...cks... or something very simalar if my memory serves me....

    Nell

  10. #10


    Here is the respect the DCS shows an Icon of Scotland. The picture said it was taken during the cull at Mar Lodge. Not quite as nice stag1993's picture but a reminder for the doubters of what may happen if the DCS get there way!

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