Season extension bad news for deer welfare?

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Rob Mac

Well-Known Member
I recently read an article by Jan Andrews concerning the extension of the female deer season to the end of March in England and Wales. Although the majority of deer groups lobbied DEFRA hard to introduce these changes, I think that Jan and the rest of us, have every reason to be concerned about the impact they will have on deer welfare.

Milder winters are leading to more winter feed which increases the land's holding capacity, and it is also likely to result in earlier Roe birth dates.[/i]

She points out that in the south of England, Roe deer are already giving birth at the end of March and that on land she leases in Hampshire, a Sika hind was seen giving birth in the second week of March this year. I also hear similar stories from other stalkers, although I must confess that I didn't see any early arrivals on the land I manage here in the Cotswolds (clearly I need to get out more).

In order to prevent culling deer with dependant young, perhaps we should all be aiming to fill up the highseats with friends (and colleagues you meet through sites like this one) and get the cull numbers racked up before we go too far into March. Then the landowner's happy, you're happy and deer welfare won't have been compromised.



Well-Known Member
Hi Rob

I stalk roe in Scotland and for a number of years we have only shot yearling does in the month of March, mature does were left alone. It would perhaps wise to try and get your cull numbers earlier in the season but if you can not, this could be a option.



So whats Jans proposal regarding Muntjac?

Please don't say only shoot heavily pregnant does. :mad:


Well-Known Member
Extention to doe season

I help out on a pheasant shoot and have the deer stalking also.
I cannot reallistically get out to shoot the Roe on this ground until february and that has only given me four weeks up to now and weather and mud means that even the Landie can't anywhere near where I need to get to. I have in the past shot to the last day in Feb and frequently have found a well formed fetus on dressing out older does.
What I do now is to shoot older does in the first two weeks of Feb. and yearlings thereafter.
This extra month will help reduce the pressure as with the lengthening daylight at least I can get out a couple of evenings straight from work. .


Well-Known Member

l have much the same problem but luckily the owner of the estate who stalks himself does realise the importance of controlling the does,the estate are very serious about game shooting with many let days during the first half of the season,when the let days finish l am allowed to stalk a lot more of the estate and as drives dry up as the season progresses they let me on more ground.

l to have adopted much of the policies as has been mentioned on here but really it is about putting in the time but as we know it is not that easy,as far as our old m8 Bradleys comment on munties even if he ain't on here l am sure he will read it,its deer welfare that we are interested in is it not so culling heavily pregnant does or young does is the only way to be sure.


Site Staff
Generally I am in favour of the extension to the season, although I myself generally try and finish most of my hind and doe cull by December, I know that for many stalkers and deer managers it is not practicle to achieve this target and therefore the extension is a good move.

As for the new season on Chinese Water deer, I believe that a slightly longer season from September through to February for Bucks and from October through to late february for doe's would have been slightly more sensible.


Well-Known Member
l have culled quite a number of muntjac over the years and so far if memory serves l have shot 2 lactating does, admittedly l do concentrate on younger animals if l can but if a mature doe presents itself especially in late winter and in my opinion is shootable l will take her, l tend to only shoot muntjac from November through to the end of March anyway with the main time for culling being Feb/March.
What are your policies on culling muntjac does 300wsm?


300wsn wrote:

The policy I use is to not shoot does that are being pursued by bucks and to always wait 15 min after shooting a doe this way if there is a fawn close by it will usually have shown its self.

This sounds like sensible advice to me.



Distinguished Member
Muntjac Does

300 wsm said
The policy I use is to not shoot does that are being pursued by bucks and to always wait 15 min after shooting a doe this way if there is a fawn close by it will usually have shown its self.

I use a similar policy to this. I do most of my Muntjac cull in Feb-April
Last year I shot a Muntjac doe which was crossing a very narrow ride and was horrified to see a Buck appear behind her, I shot the Buck and when I Grollached her she was quite heavily pregnant??? so that Knocked my policy a bit.

I know Muntjac are seasonal breeders but most of the does I shoot in the early spring are heavily pregnant, I don't tend to see many fawns until later in year is this just a coincidence or has anyone else found this??



Well-Known Member
I think that Muntjac are adapting to our environment. I watch muntjac all the time and I only ever see fawns in late spring.
If the does are breeding all year round surely the fawns would be easier to see in the winter? The winters are nothing to shout about either, I only experienced two decent frosty days last year. So cold weather enfant deaths is unlikely I think.


Well-Known Member
Agreeably 300wsm and WD most muntie does l cull are pregnant it is the natural life cycle of these animals and in my opinion it does not matter what time of year it is l have seen muntie fawns in the middle of winter, they will get knocked back if there is prolonged cold weather but with the current trend of warmer winters looking like it will continue l see no reason why the reproduction cycle should change which does not make our task any easier.

l think that there will be a limit to their northern expansion though l suppose that remains to be seen, l have seen a large increase in the muntie population locally l have been asked more than once to deal with one in someones garden were upon l tell them that they will be back, one bit l control is only 10 acres with about a third being formal garden the rest is a paddock and so far l have taken 27 out of it, these have been mostly young animals taking up new territories l have tried to explain the merits of leaving a mature buck about to deter the wanderers from hanging about but unfortunately the attitude that is increasingly coming across is that they are pests and need to go,which is unfortunate for these fascinating little creatures more positive public awareness is needed, they are here to stay.


Well-Known Member
I experience the opposite, I have people moaning about the Muntjac but don't want them shot. I'm forever being told that the way to deter them is to spray Jeyes Fluid on areas that they are attracted to.

So thats the answer, all that expensive equipment, time and effort and all I needed was a watering can and 5 litres of Jeyes Fluid!

Do Tikka make a synthetic/stainless steel watering can with a 24 inch spout and a splash moderator? :lol:


Well-Known Member
You would be surprised what you can get at B&Q, jeyes fluid gives a whole new concept to a well kept scented garden, look on the bright side it may well keep the parasites down as well :lol: so cleaner deer as well :)
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