New website coming soon.......watch this space!
Latest Deer Journal now available!
Did you know that you can still buy previous copies that you may have missed?
Click the journal below to go straight to the shop!
British Deer Society launches The BDS Skills Award:
a major new training initiative for members and non-members
BDS Chairman Michael Thick (right) signing up to The BDS Skills Award
The British Deer Society (BDS) has launched a major new training initiative The BDS Skills Award aimed at deerstalkers, deer managers and anyone with an interest in increasing their knowledge about deer.
The BDS Skills Award, which has been created in response to demand from stalkers for continuation training in the form of skills development, has been introduced after a long period of consultation throughout the sector. Available to both BDS members and non-members, the award takes the form of a progressive learning programme based on the continuous acquisition of skills with awards being made at Bronze, Silver and Gold levels.
Each level of award comprises a number of different course components, some delivered by the BDS and some provided by a range of other organisations. Certain course elements are mandatory while others can be chosen according to the student’s preference. Each course component is awarded a points value and when enough points have been awarded the relevant level of award may be claimed.
Mandatory elements of the training include achieving Deer Stalking Certificate 1 (DSC1) for the Bronze level, DSC2 for the Silver level, and attendance at a BDS Deer Management Course, or equivalent, for the Gold level. Other areas of BDS training include advanced shooting skills, habitat assessment, butchery and high seat use. Points will also be awarded for training delivered by providers, such as all-terrain vehicle and off-road driving, NRA range conducting officer courses and attendance at Best Practice events run by the Deer Initiative.
Enrolment for the award costs £40 for each level or £100 to cover all three. All courses can also be taken as part of personal skills development programme without the need to pursue the award.
Dave Goffin, Training Manager at the BDS, commented: “We have been looking for some time at introducing the means for BDS members and non-members to benefit from continuing personal development and to address skills and training beyond that covered in DSC1 and 2. We now have around 30 different courses or qualifications that can be incorporated into The BDS Skills Award system and the fact that this new initiative is extremely varied will undoubtedly make it appeal to a large number of applicants.”
For more information:
For an application form:
Help bring poachers to justice with the new PAW Scotland poaching and coursing incident recording notebook
The British Deer Society (BDS) has managed the production of a pocket notebook laid out in a design that encourages the general public to accurately record poaching and coursing incidents. The BDS, which received assistance and co-funding from the British Association of Shooting and Conservation (BASC) and Scottish Land and Estates, will also help promote and publicise the use of the new notebook in a bid to bring poachers and coursers to justice.
The new notebook was launched at the GWCT Scottish Game Fair held earlier this month at Scone Palace. It has been released by the Poaching and Coursing Priority Group, a subset of the Partnership for Action Against Wildlife Crime in Scotland (PAW Scotland) which was set up to fight wildlife crime and includes the police, land managers, conservationists and the Scottish Government.
Designed to fit into a car glove box or a pocket, the notebook is formatted to enable the user to record accurate and detailed information should they witness a poaching or coursing incident to ensure as much data as possible can be passed on to the police. In addition it encourages the witness to record the reporting of the incident and of the subsequent actions taken.
John Bruce, Chairman of the PAW Scotland Poaching and Coursing Priority Group and Trustee Director and Chairman of the BDS Scottish Council at the BDS commented: “The BDS is delighted that this new notebook is now available. Witnesses have been known to forget details or become confused about an event even relatively soon after it has taken place but the notebook means they can rapidly enter accurate observations, which should assist with the prosecution of a perpetrator. We encourage everyone to join the fight against wildlife crime so do contact the BDS to request your free notebook.”
Further information is also available from: www.PAW.Scotland.gov.uk
BDS at the CLA
There was plenty of BDS activity last weekend at the CLA Game Fair at Harewood House where periodic rain was interspersed with glorious sunshine over the three days. Undeterred by the heavy showers the show was well attended with many visitors beating a path to the BDS. In addition to displaying BDS membership, sales and training initiatives, on Friday the BDS Skills Award was launched, Norman Ball of North East England Branch was presented with the Jim Taylor Page Trophy and Charles Smith Jones signed copies of his book The Deerstalker's Bedside Book. The British Deer Farms and Parks Association had a spectacular display of antlers and wildlife artist Nigel Artingstall showcased a collection of his watercolours and prints.
Charles Smith-Jones signing copies of his new book
Society President Michael Strang Steel (far right) and North East England branch committee members join the Chairman for the Jim Taylor Page Trophy presentation to Norman Ball (second left)
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:
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