Too Many Deer? Not Every Where

Salmo Salar

Well-Known Member
#1
I enclose a copy of a letter of mine that was printed in our local paper, it should highlight the fact that the SNH are certainly a body to fear... Also remember I am speaking for an area of Speyside where it seems the only thing some organisations want to see is tree's.

– Another October passes and once again there was silence in certain areas of the strath. I'm sure that some of your regular readers will remember years gone by when the glens in Abernethy used to resound to the bellow of the majestic stag roaring his challenge.
Sadly this has been consigned to folklore now. The stag has been culled to such an extent in this area that there are very few left to gather during their rutting period.
Scottish Nautral Heritage's George Hogg has gone on record in a reply to a previous letter of mine to state that the red deer is an icon of Scotland.
However, when will SNH and the RSPB stand up and admit that their policy on managing the local red deer population has gone too far and put a stop to their current policies.
This magnificent species is part of our natural heritage and proper management of their numbers is being ignored by the responsible agencies.
Under the guise of conservation/regeneration, both organisations have been allowed to decimate red deer herds to an appallingly low level.
It is a disgrace that this has been allowed to happen and perhaps some of our politicians who may be reading this correspondence will finally sit up and take notice.
In the unlikely event that you are fortunate enough to hear a stag, it is quite likely to be a young stag which struggles to roar properly. In years gone by, the privately owned estates managed the herd population using time honoured methods which would allow the best of the animals to breed, and only take the older, younger and injured beasts out of the herds.
This is not the case now with these organisations and it appears that any animal which comes into rifle range is shot regardless of the continuing health of the herd.
I am very familiar with the land owned by the RSPB at Nethy Bridge, once known as Forrest Lodge estate and I have very serious concerns over their policies for maintaining, or should it be eradicating, the herd numbers at this location.
In my opinion the herd population here has been exterminated to a level where SNH should be halting any further culls if they were to take their responsibilities for preserving our natural heritage seriously.
What the RSPB seem to forget or realise is that the deer grazing on their ground today will probably be on another's ground tomorrow and that their culling policy will, and is, having a direct negative impact on neighbouring estates.
SNH is a government body which we the tax payers fund. They should stand up to their responsibilities and take a higher level of interest in the current management of our wild deer populations.
If they remain as ineffective or seemingly influenced by certain organisations as they currently seem to be, this particular responsibility should be taken out of their control and given to another agency with a more balanced interest in the matter. Small culls have been needed but not the mass slaughter that has happened. – Yours etc,
 
D

Davie

Guest
#2
A nice letter and would probably been better going direct to the scottish parliament and asking for a response. You see when the deer were counted in Scotland i am sure some one counted them twice and x the number by ten to allow for the ones in the large forested ares . The problem was that thew helicopters and the deer shooting posses couldnt get the numbers easy from the the tree covered areas so they just wiped out the easy deer on the open hills and glens. It was about cash for the cullers who were made up of any one they could gather regardless of experience and got payed by the load. sad but most people will take the short root when there is a price to work for.
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=mT4EM56r5sg&feature=related

THIS IS THE WAY TO WIPE THEM OUT AND GET CASH IN PS TAX PAYERS CASH.
 

admin

Administrator
Site Staff
#3
I think 6.5X55 is right, such a well written letter which perfectly outlines events that are happening in Scotland today deserves more than an airing in a local paper. It should go to the top, Parliament, see how MSP's respond to an acknowledged icon receiving such treatment. It is time that someone in authority said no to the RSPB.

We as stalkers strive to maintain a balance in the Countryside, it is not rocket science to realise that unless we look after it in a sympathetic manner, it will not be there for future generations. We realise that all aspects of nature need to be maintained in balance, we are not so blinkered to think it can only be preserved for one particular group or interest. We realise that birds have a place in the great scheme of things, and probably see more of and interact with them more than a good deal of their most fervent supporters. We do however realise that not everything or everyone is feather orientated just as they are not fur or scale orientated. There must be balance. The RSPB appears to be able to do just as they wish, it is about time someone in authority told them NO!

Salmo Salar, I would urge you to consider sending your letter to an MSP, or the first Minister, he of all people should hardly be able to ignore the plight of a Scottish icon.

John
 

Salmo Salar

Well-Known Member
#4
Well I have sent it on to the local MP along with this intro to it...

I enclose a copy of a letter of mine that was printed in our local paper, it should highlight the fact that the SNH and RSPB are certainly not looking after the some of the interests of part of your constituency. I am speaking for an area of Speyside where it seems the only thing some organisations want to see is tree's. Both organisations are spending vast amounts of money - our money on schemes of regeneration and Capercailie protection. As for the Capers, have they once contacted the old gamekeepers who looked after the land when there were large numbers of these birds? I doubt it very much. No unless you have a degree form a university it seems you couldn't possibly know what you are talking about. I beg to differ and the RSPB's reserve at Nethy Bridge is the prime example. It is a shadow of its former self with regards to most wildlife other than Vermin and raptors. All done in the name of conservation/regeneration; to a visitor it looks beautiful and it is but the general wildlife population now there is a shadow of what it used to be, especially the Red Deer. Yes I like to see tree's and Caper. But not if it means the extermination of everything else. Something needs to be done as these organisations have gone too far in this area of the countryside. I havent meant this letter to be a rant but it should be considered a national disgrace what these organisations are doing to certain parts of our country.
 

Gazza

Well-Known Member
#6
An excellent post. The RSBP continually accuse gamekeepers and other managers of land regarding the alleged persecution of raptors. Yet here in their own back yard they openly persecute wildlife in their own selfish cause.
 

widows son

Well-Known Member
#7
Salmo, You writings are well worth sending to the First Minister Alex Salmond ,conveying the fact there is a huge amount of revenue brought into Scotland, from Stalking ,Shooting & Fishing these types of correspondence bring ammunition for our cause .

If your letter is heading toward a Labour msp ,you would have been as well hanging it on the back of the toilet door, Labour have absolutely no worthy interest in anything that remotely to do with field sports, or generated money from them .

Ive written to Ministers in the passed to no avail ,some of the replies are just crap, these are the people that we vote in ,and when there reminded of that fact they don't like it .
 

jingzy

Account Suspended
#8
Was it not just a couple of years ago that RSPB were culling foxes etc to try and save the Caper, a bloody good idea.

Then they decided to stop culling foxes just to see the results on the Caper.............how retarded is that! They should have at least given it 50 years to try to get to a sustainable amount of breeding pairs before such a plan was put into force.

RSPB cause an awful lot of problems in Scotland. This is just another disgusting showpiece. :evil:
 

paul k

Well-Known Member
#9
In Wales the RSPB are paying £300 per day (night) for someone to shoot foxes on their reserves. One guy is making over £20k per annum! Not bad but really not publicised by the RSPB - I wonder why?
 

scotspine

Well-Known Member
#10
Well I must be the odd man out here; I think that many areas are too densely populated with deer and numbers need reducing to a level that does not pose a threat to the natural environment.
Here in Scotland SNH are currently reminding landowners of their obligations in connection with SSSI's and SAC's.If overgrazing by deer is found to be a serious problem then SNH will push for a solution.
My view is that landowners should show willing and address any problems now before they are targeted by the guys with the big sticks.
 

Salmo Salar

Well-Known Member
#11
In reply to scotspine, like I said these comments are only on an area I know well. And for the SNH and RSPB to be culling the deer that they have to the extent that they have is wrong. For example, on one estate that the SNH have imposed cull targets, they had a count one day which was just over 100 Reds, the following day there were over 200 which had come from another estate so therefore they had to cull these. This is wrong and bearing in mind this is all happening on an area where to all locals with a knowledge of the area there have never been too many in the first place!
On the RSPBs estate at Nethy Bridge, they have virtualy wiped out the entire population. This is not controlling numbers this is a population slaughter. All in the name of regeneration of trees. And even in doing this at their reserve the results of regen are poor to say the least as the ground is now covered deeply with foliage such that the seed for regen can get no foothold to start. At least with some grazing animals covering the ground this cover gets broken and the seed can then get to the ground to germinate.
Possibly there are areas of the countryside where the numbers are too high. I cant comment on somewhere I dont know. But I know this area and they have gone way to far.
 

Salmo Salar

Well-Known Member
#12
PS my letter was sent to the MP at Westminster, not the local Scottish MP. I'll see if I get any response..... But wont hold my breath as the countryside is now being run by the so called conservationists.
 
D

Davie

Guest
#13
Scots pine the worrying trend is to say Scotland has far to many deer. There was even a suggestion of a cull in the central belt of roe deer. Lets get the facts right and then we can move forward.While there are areas that have healthy populations of deer.There are others that don't have many at all.You only need to look at the culls on most of the forestry leases to see this i looked at one te other day and it said that on 2000 acres the last three consecutive culls were 18 11 7 . A Good few were like this telling me that most of Scotland dose not have a problem at all.
There is more damage from walkers and hick er climbers mountain bickers scramblers and ramblers than there is from deer. Now SNH / DCS Has had a real good hit at the deer in Scotland removing most of the easy ones it is now time to streamline and remove most of the DCS that would free up 100,s of 1000,s of pound to get on with a proper management plan. ;)
 
#14
A very good letter SS and a point that could be appiled to several areas of the highlands.

The worrying thing is the direction from the top - I gather the boss of The John Muir Trust (a major adviser to the SNH) recently said that he 'didn't mind if he saw the last red deer shot in Scotland.'

Although I'm sure we all believe that the regeneration of the Caledonian Pine forests is important in can be achieved with a hard cull and fencing.

Apart from anything else the economic impact of the overshooting on the 'reserves' and on billionaire 'philanthropist's' estates is already being felt by the neighbouring 'working' estates who rely on the income from let stags. The 'hole' creates a vacumn and so having shot their own population they are now eroding their neighbours.
 

scotspine

Well-Known Member
#15
Salmo Salar

I take your point, although being a forester I am biased toward trees, particularly if they are native trees. I have found that the most reliable way to achieve good regeneration of trees is via a dramatic reduction in the deer population. Deer fencing is the most reliable method; otherwise a rapid cull will suffice. The regenerating seeds have a brief window of opportunity to colonise the seedbed before it becomes overgrown with ground vegetation. The same goes in restock sites; fence the site or keep deer in the local to an absolute minimum until the trees are established. Once the forester’s objective has been achieved then the deer population can recover and take advantage of the area for decades/generations to come.
If deer are reduced over a protracted period then many regenerating seedlings will be browsed out, meantime the seedbed deteriorates and the job is seen as a failure. You may be witnessing this in your area. A simple solution would be to scarify the ground now that deer numbers are low but RSPB/SNH tend to shun this approach.
I like the short sharp shock approach as it tends to get the job done with the least impact on the deer herd in the local or neighbouring ground.Things can then settle down
Each to their own I suppose but my view is that more culling is needed in sensitive areas and this need not be detrimental to stalking or the deer in the long run. Many Estates up here are now looking to manage the deer in balance with the environment without compromising sporting potential or good practice.
 

Salmo Salar

Well-Known Member
#16
Scotspine

The area's in question have probably the largest concentrations of Caledonian forrest in the uk so I can understand people wanting to see them regenerating. The point I have and you have also said is the best way to achieve this is through fencing. This they wont do. So the thousands of acres of heather moorland surrounding these forrests are now barren of deer due to the culls. Also remember that 75% of the worlds heather moorland is in the uk with the vast majority of this in the highlands of Scotland. So it needs protection also, or do we say no and that we should have it all in trees. I think these forrests are part of our heritage also and I am not advocating not having regen, only that it should be done with fencing as the Deer are part of our heritage also. The call for dramatic reductions is not the answer as this will be an ongoing solution as deer will fill the gaps from other areas. Fencing is the only sensible option so you can have regen and deer side by side.
 

scotspine

Well-Known Member
#17
Salmo Salar

I don't think were too far apart here, it's about balance and having regard for the big picture.As ever, there a good/bad examples of land management througout Scotland and the bias of the land owner always creeps in.
I believe deer fencing is a very important (first choice) tool when it comes to establishing woodland as it gets results without upsetting the apple cart too much.
I'll stick to my guns re the need for a reduction in deer numbers in sensitive areas as I genuinely believe it can be done if the management plan has been "bought into" by all interested parties.
 

bambislayer

Well-Known Member
#18
The idea of too many deer has been quite rightly ditched by DCS/SNH and it is now the impact that is looked at.

I live in Speyside and have been hit by these culls I think more than anyone {lost job , family home, way of life] but I will agree that areas such as Glen Feshie, Kinveachy and Abernethy had far too many deer.

The mangement [what little their was] was totally unsustainable, yes there were many deer but nothing else.

100's of stags every year were starving in Glenfeshie. Deer populations have to be sustainable that's both finacial and ecologically.

As far as Caper go , they did have more Caper years ago, what did the old keepers do for them - nothing , they were just the there, if you speak to some of the old timers you will be shocked at how little they know about the bird and half the knowledge they had was wrong.

Half the reason DCS/SNH have had to come down on estates is because of the mismanagement for 100's of years, the government has handled some of these cases very badly but something needed to be done.

Caper are now on the increase again , and this is down to the hard work of private estates , rspb , snh and fc.

The decline in Scotlands forests has been stopped and for the first time in 300 years it's increasing.

Sorry this post is all over the place , but many of us look at the past with rose tinted specs
 

Salmo Salar

Well-Known Member
#19
Genfeshie and Kinveachy are just down the road from me and I know them but not well although I know a few folk who were born and raised and worked there and they would not support your view.
As for Abernethy I know it intimately, and I know there were not too many deer there. Maybe too many for the RSPB's liking but for someone who has a balanced view on nature there was not. As for the Caper being on the rise, I think we should take the results of so called counts at the Nethy reserve with a little caution, certainly if we are to believe their counts of the deer on that reserve. As someone who lived on the march with the estate before and after they bought it along with generations of my family who were born and brought up there. The RSPB's main culprits for the decline in the Caper have been Red Deer destroying the habitat and Deer fences. Now if you were a shepherd, certainly in past years and even to this day you will know that during lambing time sheep will very often lamb beside the fence. Also if they are ill they tend to go to a fence, never have I or my ancestors seen a Caper dead after crashing into one the deer fences. And this was during the times when the forrest was full of them. I dont say it never happened what I'm saying is the amount of times it did was certainly not as often as the RSPB would have you beleive. Having been all over there estate before and after their ownership I can also tell you that winter casualties at Abernethy were never high as you say they were at Glenfeshie. The wintering ground the deer used to congregate on sustained them well.
Never mind the deer for a minute, the next time you are in Nethy take a wander through the forrest and I'm sure you'll be amazed at the lack of any wildlife there now. Where once there were Crested tit's, Crossbills and birdsong there is none now. Their policy on vermin over the years has lead to an explosion of Pine Martin, foxes, mustelids and Raptors. When you have a bird the size of a Turkey thats lays on the ground, what do you think is going to happen, you dont need to be a rocket scientist to figure it out but apperantly the RSPB still havent manged. As for the old keepers, If they left too many Deer on the ground is a perhaps a debatable point but they still managed the vermin and that certainly did help the Caper so they did do something. Last year for the first time in our knowledge on one of my relatives farms we lost lambs to the Raven - and this is not the farmer who has been in the news. Another one of the many predators who will be having an influence on Capers. But to virtually wipe out an entire population of Red Deer is an abomniation all in the guise of conservation.
Sorry for the tone of this post but you touched a raw nerve with regards to the RSPB in Nethy. And although I may have a wee tint in my glasses I always try to be balanced, the RSPB certainly havent and thats a fact
 

Salmo Salar

Well-Known Member
#20
Genfeshie and Kinveachy are just down the road from me and I know them but not well although I know a few folk who were born and raised and worked there and they would not support your view.
As for Abernethy I know it intimately, and I know there were not too many deer there. Maybe too many for the RSPB's liking but for someone who has a balanced view on nature there was not. As for the Caper being on the rise, I think we should take the results of so called counts at the Nethy reserve with a little caution, certainly if we are to believe their counts of the deer on that reserve. As someone who lived on the march with the estate before and after they bought it along with generations of my family who were born and brought up there. The RSPB's main culprits for the decline in the Caper have been Red Deer destroying the habitat and Deer fences. Now if you were a shepherd, certainly in past years and even to this day you will know that during lambing time sheep will very often lamb beside the fence. Also if they are ill they tend to go to a fence, never have I or my ancestors seen a Caper dead after crashing into one the deer fences. And this was during the times when the forrest was full of them. I dont say it never happened what I'm saying is the amount of times it did was certainly not as often as the RSPB would have you beleive. Having been all over there estate before and after their ownership I can also tell you that winter casualties at Abernethy were never high as you say they were at Glenfeshie. The wintering ground the deer used to congregate on sustained them well.
Never mind the deer for a minute, the next time you are in Nethy take a wander through the forrest and I'm sure you'll be amazed at the lack of any wildlife there now. Where once there were Crested tit's, Crossbills and birdsong there is none now. Their policy on vermin over the years has lead to an explosion of Pine Martin, foxes, mustelids and Raptors. When you have a bird the size of a Turkey thats lays on the ground, what do you think is going to happen, you dont need to be a rocket scientist to figure it out but apperantly the RSPB still havent manged. As for the old keepers, If they left too many Deer on the ground is a perhaps a debatable point but they still managed the vermin and that certainly did help the Caper so they did do something. Last year for the first time in our knowledge on one of my relatives farms we lost lambs to the Raven - and this is not the farmer who has been in the news. Another one of the many predators who will be having an influence on Capers. But to virtually wipe out an entire population of Red Deer is an abomniation all in the guise of conservation.
Sorry for the tone of this post but you touched a raw nerve with regards to the RSPB in Nethy. And although I may have a wee tint in my glasses I always try to be balanced, the RSPB certainly havent and thats a fact
 

Top