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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 working to enable British wild deer can 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 many deer related topic. You can book courses, buy books, DVDs, and equipment online - everything you need in one place!

NEWS

New website coming soon.......watch this space!

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

 

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 

 

                                                                    

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