Good evening and welcome to The British Deer Society
  • Welcome to

    The British Deer Society

    What do we do? - BDS promotes deer education, research and management best practice to ensure a healthy and sustainable deer population in balance with the environment; a key feature of the biodiversity of the UK landscape.

    What do we do?
  • Welcome to

    The British Deer Society

    Our aim - BDS aims to be the go-to place for objective and unbiased information on the biology of deer and methods of deer management, humane treatment and control.

    Our aim
  • Welcome to

    The British Deer Society

    Research - BDS provides funding and support for high quality deer research to inform government(s), academia, trade organisations, members, the media and the public.

    Our research
  • Welcome to

    The British Deer Society

    Membership - BDS embraces a varied membership ranging from professional biologists, enthusiastic naturalists, keen photographers, wildlife artists and chefs to deer managers and stalkers. All are welcome.

    Join us
  • Welcome to

    The British Deer Society

    Education - BDS aims to improve general education and understanding of all deer-related issues, through active engagement and access to high quality educational materials.

    Our education
  • Welcome to

    The British Deer Society

    Training - We develop and deliver high quality training programmes to promote best practice in deer management.

    Our training
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    The British Deer Society

    How can you help us? - Help BDS continue its education and research programme. Secure the future of wild deer in the UK by becoming a member, making a donation, or purchasing from our shop. Thank you for your support.

    Join | Donation | Shop

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Latest News

COVID-19: BDS Advice to Deer Stalkers

COVID-19:  BDS Advice to Deer Stalkers - issued 11 May 2020

Further to the Prime Minister’s statement on Sunday 10 May 2020, and the more detailed COVID-19 Recovery Strategy published today, the British Deer Society interprets the current situation as follows:

With effect from Wednesday 13 May 2020 deer stalking and associated management activities may resume in England only under the relaxation of guidelines affecting exercising outdoors.

There are no restrictions on how many times, or for how long, you may exercise each day.

In line with social distancing guidelines, you should remain at least 2 metres separate from anyone from outside your household and be aware of not touching shared surfaces.

Effective hand hygiene is essential.

You should not exercise with more than one other person from outside your household.

It is acceptable to drive to outdoor open spaces irrespective of distance.

Appropriate planning for the extraction, transport and subsequent disposal of carcases should be conducted prior to stalking to ensure that all remains within government guidelines.

Different rules exist in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland where the devolved administrations still stipulate separate guidance and regulations.  All travel or other movement must respect this.

Stalkers are strongly advised to familiarise themselves with the Government’s COVID-19 Recovery Strategy, with special attention given to the rules for public spaces (page 27). It can be viewed in full here

The above advice is intended for unpaid, recreational stalkers.  Where stalking is conducted on a professional basis, employers remain responsible for ensuring appropriate safe conditions for employees and follow existing government advice and the ‘COVID-19 Secure’ guidelines which will be published later this week.

The British Deer Society will continue to monitor the situation and issue further advice when necessary.


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COVID-19: Advice for stalking visitors to the UK

COVID-19:  Advice for stalking visitors to the UK

The British Deer Society has received enquiries concerning deer stalking visits from overseas, some of which have stemmed from misunderstandings caused by inaccurate or speculative information published elsewhere.  

Current Government intentions are known to be as follows:

- Measures and restrictions are to be placed at the UK border.

- All international arrivals (apart from a small number, expected to be essential service providers only, which will be permitted exemption) will be required to self-isolate in their accommodation for 14 days after arrival in the UK.

- International arrivals unable to demonstrate where they will self-isolate will be placed in accommodation arranged by the Government.

- All journeys within the Common Travel Area (an open borders area consisting of the UK, Ireland, the Isle of Man & the Channel Islands) will be exempt from these measures.

These measures are expected to be introduced shortly and can be interpreted as ruling out stalking visits from overseas for the immediate future. For further information on international travel, see the COVID-19 Recovery Strategy (page 29).

It is stressed that, while stalking has become possible in England as long as specific conditions are met, additional restrictions on outdoor movement and travel remain unchanged in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.


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NEW Product Review: Arksjo folding lock knife

My first impression on opening the box containing the Arksjo folding lock knife from Outdoor Classic was a very good one.

If I didn’t know the price, I would have assumed that it cost several times more than the £10 that it sells for in the BDS shop.

It is perfectly sized to be of use for all UK deer species and the blaze orange rubber handle provides an outstanding grip. The eight and a half centimetre stainless steel blade locks very positively when open which is an essential safety feature in a folding knife. There is no movement in the knife at all when open or closed. The blade has ambidextrous thumb studs for one-handed use but, given that the knife is very solidly constructed with fine tolerances, it is a little stiff to open in this way. 

Genzo Outdoor Arksjo Folding Knife

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BDS Survey of Deer Distribution and Abundance 2020

First, my personal thanks for all those who agreed to help with this survey, which is designed to offer us a better resolution of the distribution and regional abundance of deer within the UK, something we urgently need if we are to advise Government and other Agencies on future management.

Although we had hoped that volunteers would undertake their initial field surveys this spring, response to the recent outbreak of Coronavirus and Government guidance suggests that we must postpone this, because of restrictions on movement and non-essential travel.

We hope that circumstances will allow us to start the survey instead, with the autumn walks proposed and roll spring surveys through to the spring of next year 2021.

If you have volunteered to help with the survey, please keep in touch with our technical adviser Charles Smith-Jones and we will hope to contact you again in late summer. In the meantime stay safe at this challenging time

Rory Putman, Chairman, British Deer Society

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21 August - 23 August
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29 August - 31 August
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05 September - 06 September
Wolsingham Show
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11 September - 13 September
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