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Welcome to The British Deer Society

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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!

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News 

 

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:

 http://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0109698

 

 
To view our latest Deerbytes (Issue 88) please click the link
 
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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 

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New PACEC Questionnaire for ADMG and LDNS

This survey has been designed for the Association of Deer Management Groups and Lowland Deer.  Network Scotland to allow estimates to be made of the economic benefits of deer management in Scotland, the environmental impacts, the expenditure in local and national supply chains, and the number of jobs supported.

This is a separate questionnaire to one you may have been asked to complete, titled ‘Contribution of Shooting Sports to the UK’. The responses from this questionnaire cover both the sporting and non-sporting aspects of deer management.

The questions refer throughout to “the landholding” for brevity. You may be responsible for stalking or deer control over a group of landholdings which may or may not be contiguous ­ as far as possible, please treat these as a unit for the purposes of the questionnaire, and please ensure that you refer to the same landholding or group of landholdings throughout. To avoid duplication, please speak to the other key people involved in deer management (landowner, manager, stalker(s)) on the landholding either before or while you fill in this questionnaire.

TO access the Questionnaire and respond online go to  

http://bit.ly/WqNyvH

Alternatively you can download, print & complete by Clicking here then return to PACEC, 49-53 Regent Street, Cambridge, CB2 1AB.

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BDS COUNTRYSIDE EXTRAVAGANZA DRAW 2014

Supporting BDS Research and Education

 

Fabulous Prizes including Binoculars, Paintings, Engraved Crystal, Camera, Country Clothing and Kit

Click here for details

 

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THE MOREDUN RESEARCH INSTITUTE, EDINBURGH

FLUKE AND DEER - ­ REQUEST FOR SAMPLES

Wildlife hosts, specifically deer, are known to act as a reservoir of infection for a number of fluke species - including liver fluke, a serious parasite of livestock.

As part of its ongoing research, The Moredun Research Institute is asking for help from BDS members with sample collections from deer taken during the course of normal deer management activities.

For more information about how you can help with this UK study please CLICK HERE

 
 Chronic Wasting Disease
  Deer Management Round Table (DMRT) CWD Subgroup Situation Report for Scotland.  Updated 22 April 2014.

Notifying the GB agencies of our interest in CWD:

In recent weeks DMRT sub group representatives have been in close discussions with policy and veterinary officers in Scottish Government (SG) and Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) to remind them about on-going concerns over the possibility of disease incursion. 


 Please click here  to view or print the pdf document.
 
 
 

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