The need for deer management
For many people deer stalking is a recreational activity, but it is also necessary to protect agricultural crops, forestry, native flora and indeed, deer, since they are prolific breeders and, if numbers are allowed to increase unchecked, may become prone to starvation and disease. The culling of deer should always take place as part of a deer management plan which considers both the welfare of the animals and the damage they may cause. Wherever appropriate, the management plan should involve close liaison and co-operation between neighbouring landowners and stalkers. Stalkers should respect the requirements of landowners, gamekeepers, foresters, and farm managers, and liaise with them prior to going stalking. Deer stalking may take place very early in the morning or late in the evening, thereby avoiding actions that may disturb local residents.
The deer stalker’s obligations
It is your responsibility to know, and understand, the laws and best practice guidance relating to deer management. Crucially, you must be able to identify deer and to know when and where to shoot them. You must also have respect for the countryside, consideration for others and due regard to health and safety.
The rifle you use is capable of killing over great distances and every shot taken must be totally safe. Always ensure that there is a solid backstop behind the deer before taking the shot and that you have an uninterrupted view of the foreground.
Always check that the line of shot is unobstructed.
“The wildlife of today is not ours to dispose of as we please. We have it in trust. We must account for it to those who come after.” – KING GEORGE VI