Membership and Stalking Insurance
Competition Draws
Internet Auction
Contact Us
To find out how to Join the BDS - Click here
Shop on line - Click here
The BDS Photography Section - Click here
To enter Training - Click here
To make a Donation to the BDS - Click here
Internet Auction























You are here :

Welcome to The British Deer Society

Your browser failed to render flash content

Learn about British wild deer, stalking, management and deer photography. We are a charity which works to enable British deer to exist in today's environment and ensure that their future is secure for generations to come. You will find this site full of information, pictures, news and views on just about any deer related topic. You can book courses and buy books, DVDs, and equipment online - everything you need in one place!


Solar Eclipse and Deer


During the last major solar eclipse of 1999, many deer enthusiasts reported unusual behaviour in deer.

Some deer were apparently tricked into believing that it was dusk, and came out of the woods to feed.

With tomorrow’s eclipse due to occur at around 0930 it should, subject to cloud cover, be visible over much of the country. We are asking all stalkers and deer enthusiasts to make a note of any unusual behaviour and send in brief reports to BDS at

These opportunities don’t come often, and could possibly form the basis of an interesting study. Many thanks in advance.

For more information about the eclipse and how to view safely go to:







New BDS Clothing Range now in stock!


Click here to see more



British Deer Society AGM Weekend
Sat 16th / Sun 17th May 2015

SE England Branch will be hosting the Society's AGM event this year based at The Holiday Inn, Shepperton, Surrey.

Saturday includes visits to Hampton Court Palace, gardens and Home Deer Park followed by a barbeque provided by the park rangers at Richmond Park then a visit including sawmills and abattoir plus options to see deer or a guided walk around the Isabella Plantation.

Saturday night’s Society Dinner will be followed on Sunday morning by presentations from Hon Society Vet Peter Green and Surrey Wildlife Trust prior to the Annual General Meeting. 

Click here  to download the booking form and more information.  



Scotland Notifiable Diseases Points of Contact 

The Agency for this service has recently been re-organised within DEFRA from AHVLA to APHA -  the website is the same, but the points of contact  have been reduced in number.

A “Find the nearest centre to you anywhere in the UK” post code searcher is available at:

http://ahvla.defra.gov.uk/postcode/index.asp or go direct to the page of UK addresses at:


Please CLICK HERE for contact details for "District Vet for Notifiable Disease notification"



Deer Focus Day

Park Quality Assurance Scheme Launch

Bradgate Park, Newtown Linford, Leicestershire LE6 0HE

Please CLICK HERE for the programme for the Deer Focus Day, hosted by the BDFPA at Bradgate Park on Wednesday 25th March 2015.

Tick collection request for Lyme disease study (South Downs)

I am researching Lyme disease/borreliosis (LB) and if you are a deerstalker working in the South Downs National Park (SDNP) your help in collecting ticks from deer culled for other reasons would be much appreciated. The study area stretches from Sussex to Hampshire and includes much of the woods of the western weald as well as the South Downs themselves.

What participation would involve

You will be supplied kits and freepost envelopes to enable you to collect, record and send off the ticks. Once received, ticks will be tested for LB infection. The study will be collecting ticks most months from Feb 2015 to June 2016 but getting involved does not commit you to sending in ticks throughout this period; you can participate as much or as little as you want. Once the study is completed you will be sent a summary and an invitation to an optional free workshop outlining the results and offering practical advice on how to prevent LB, spot symptoms early and access treatment if required.

Why research LB in the South Downs National Park?

LB is transmitted by ticks and if untreated can cause serious disease. Known annual UK LB cases have more than trebled over the last two decades and the SDNP includes two of the ten areas in England and Wales where infection is thought to be most frequent. Those spending significant time in farmland/forestry or having contact with animals from areas with high LB hazard are at greatest risk. Deer have key roles in most UK areas with an LB hazard, but complex systems of other mammals and/or birds are also involved in determining the hazard level. The effect of different UK land management practices on these disease systems is unclear, especially in Southern England.

Get involved

Please get in touch if you would like to participate or have any questions.

Jo Middleton (University of Brighton):  

Deer Aware

Cannock Chase Ranger Robert Taylor and BDS member Joan Brookes next to a new safety sign, marking the start of a new road safety campaign on Cannock Chase, alerting drivers of deer crossing the roads during the short days of winter.

cannock chase signs

Temporary Illuminating Multi-Purpose(TIM) Signs in the New Forest

BDS Wessex branch ongoing campaign for deer warning signs have met with success. Hampshire County Council have been trialling TIM signs both on the A337 and on the A35 during the rut and will be using them again during January/February 2015                                    

road signilluminated sig-resized



The British Deer Society welcomes science on shooting accuracy and wounding rates 

An important study on deer welfare during shooting has been published in the prestigious international science journal PLOS ONE. The peer-reviewed report is titled ‘Factors associated with shooting accuracy and wounding rate of four managed wild deer species in the UK, based on anonymous field records from deerstalkers.’  The report found that shooting accuracy and wounding rates varied between deerstalkers and identified some of the key reasons why. The British Deer Society (BDS) who initiated and conducted the study with scientific support from the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust, welcomes the results, which confirm many current shooting guidelines as best practice, and identify others that require improvement. 

To maintain high standards of animal welfare when shooting deer, the report's authors recommend shooting from a supported position when the deer is stationary and un-obscured, shooting only without haste and preferably when the target is within 100m. The authors promote the use of a rifle rest and aiming at the heart/lung area rather than the head or neck. They also emphasised the importance of ongoing shooting practice and achieving recognised stalking qualifications, which were found key to accurate shooting. 

BDS Chairman, Mark Nicolson said: “It is encouraging to observe that many current recommended practices are sound and how important this study is for making further improvements to best practice guidance on deer stalking in the pursuance of deer welfare. This of course is the raison d'etre of the Society, and we will be exploring further ways of disseminating the findings of the report into the training and guidance that is already provided by BDS”.

The full report can be found at:



Poaching and Rural Crime

The shooting community are often those most affected by, or witness to rural crime. We provide the eyes and ears of the countryside and often suffer the consequences of rural crime. Poaching can lead to a number of animal welfare issues, serious loss of income from illegal taking of game and fish and the damage which many poachers do to crops and land. Poachers are usually involved with many other rural crimes from theft of dogs and livestock to burglary.

BDS is committed to increasing awareness of poaching as a serious wildlife crime and is looking to build better trust and relationships between the police and local communities with a view to improving prevention activity, intelligence and enforcement success.

BDS is an active member of the Partnership for Action against Wildlife Crime UK (PAW UK) which helps statutory and non-government organisations to work together to combat wildlife crime. Its objectives are to reduce wildlife crime through effective and targeted enforcement, better regulation and improved awareness. Wildlife crime includes offences like poaching, killing or disturbing protected species or damaging their breeding and resting places and illegally trading in endangered species. It is one of the pressures that can push animal and plant species closer to extinction.

Read more here…………….

Poaching pic



Top areas for reported Deer Vehicle Collisions 

Across the UK it's estimated there could be between 40,000 - 74,000 deer-related motor vehicle accidents, resulting in several hundred human injuries and several human fatalities each year.  Deer Vehicle Collisions (DVCs) are very widespread throughout almost all parts of England as well as increasing parts of Wales.


The Deer Initiative’s (DI) research of reported Deer Vehicle Collisions for England and Wales 2008 ­ 2013 has been released listing the top areas:


Collison site map 

Locations of reported deer road casualties and related DVCs (grey stars). The most prominent clusters across the country where highest localised tolls of deer incidents have been recorded per 5km tetrad are highlighted in red. 

The DI together with the Highways Agency is reminding motorists to be ‘Deer Aware’ as collisions between deer and vehicles increase in England and Wales at this time of year. October through to December is considered a high-risk time as many deer will be on the move to and from rutting grounds during the autumn mating season.   

Dr Jochen Langbein, who has been working with the DI on Deer Vehicle Collisions (DVCs) for the past 10 years, said: “Aside from the surge in activity by our three largest deer species (fallow, sika and red deer) during their autumn rut, as days shorten and the clocks go back, peak traffic times also coincide with dawn and dusk when activity of all deer species is at its daily peak”.

For a fuller list of road names or areas with the highest number of DVC reports please visit the Deer Initiative website www.thedeerinitiative.co.uk

Be Deer Aware: Top tips are:

• Be aware that further deer may well cross after the one you may have noticed, as deer will more often move around in groups than alone.

• After dark, do use full-beams when there is no opposing traffic. The headlight beam will illuminate the eyes of deer on or near a roadway and provide greater driver reaction time. BUT, when a deer or other animals is noted on the road, dim your headlights as animals startled by the beam may ‘freeze’ rather than leaving the road.

•  Don’t over-swerve to avoid a deer. If a collision with the animal seems inevitable, then hit it while maintaining full control of your car. The alternative of swerving into oncoming traffic or a ditch could be even worse. An exception here may be motorcyclists, who are at particular risk when in direct collisions with animals.

• Only break sharply and stop if there is no danger of being hit by following traffic. Try to come to stop as far in front of the animal(s) as possible to enable it to leave the roadside without panic.

• Report any deer-vehicle collisions to the police, who will contact the local person who can best help with an injured deer at the roadside. Do not approach an injured deer yourself it may be dangerous.

If you wish to report a Deer Vehicle Collision or to find out more on safety advice please visit www.deeraware.com 



          2015 Sponsors banner V2  

Copyright © 2015 The British Deer Society | Contact Us | Cookie Policy
www.intergage.co.uk | Web Design in Hampshire