Fences killing capercaille

UK Outfitters


I recently read an article about deer fences being removed in parts of Scotland, because of the 'concern they were killing capercaille'.

I assume the birds were dying because they couldn't see it and they flew into it, breaking bones etc. Surely, a bit of initiative could have been used and the fences made more obvious somehow or alternative fencing used. Without fencing, regeneration of the ancient forests is always going to be at risk from deer even if you dramatically reduced their numbers.



Well-Known Member
Alex have you ever seen a Caper in full flight? It's somthing to behold, they almost fly through the trees not round them. A tank with wings about describes them!! Ive seen 2, 1 very close several years ago whilst out stalking with a Dutch lad!! I dont know what got the biggest fright me or the old Caper.



Site Staff
Nutty Spaniel is right I have hunted Capercaillie in Finland, and they are terrific flyers.

Deer fencing in some parts of Scotland is being removed to prevent Capercaillie mortality, but this is also for Blackgrouse and Red Grouse. In some parts they put small black plastic tags on the fence wire that spins round in the wind, they are called ABTABS and show up so lessening the mortality of black game. Capercaillie prefer mature Caledonian pine forest, or mature but open pine wood, Black grouse prefer plantations up to a certain age, but once mature with no understory they leave. The other big problem with the decline of these birds is vermin, like fox and stoats. Also Wild Cat and Pine Martin numbers are increasing in some areas, and that is probably also having an impact, although these two animals are protected.