With the Pheasant season drawing to a close, most estates are now turning their attention to deer control and deer management. At Rapid Pest Control, we are involved pretty much all times throughout the year dealing with deer, mostly Muntjac in larger gardens which are devastating plant life in flower beds and small wooded areas (they love Bluebell and Snowdrop bulbs), but occasionally we do get problems with Roe Deer too – mostly eating all the roses and succulents, a firm favourite of the Roe Deer.
We are restricted by seasons, Roe Deer have different seasons for male and female, however Muntjac are in season all year round for both sexes.
My preference is Muntjac deer. They are cunning and lightning quick, making them challenging prey. This means pretty much they are stalked at this time of the year when the cover is low, or you have to use “high seats” where you sit and wait for them to come into the open. As you can imagine, this can get pretty cold in the winter months, sitting for 2 – 3 hours at a session will numb you to the core.
Obviously, safety is our key consideration, so before embarking on any deer control exercise, a full and detailed survey is carried out to see if it is safe to shoot and that the landowner is clear on what will be happening. In most cases we consult with the local police as well so they are aware of our activities in the area.
We also get involved in large culling operations on big estates as well, so a Deer Management program is planned with the Estate Office to establish the population of deer, the types and sexes, then implement a controlled cull plan, taking out the old and poor conditioned deer first, then concentrating on reducing the breeding population to an acceptable level.
Depending on the number of deer removed, a properly managed Deer Management Program can also produce a small regular income for the Estate, both from carcass sales and the stalking activity.
I actually love just sitting and watching the deer as well – the spring and early summer months are just magical, with small fawns being seen regularly – this year I am intending to get a load of new pictures of deer and other animals you see – Last year I sat with several Barn Owls feeding young just a few yards away but dared not move!
Deer numbers are on the increase, despite habitat shrinking, so keeping a sensible number of really healthy deer is essential to the overall benefit of the species. Over-population allows disease and parasites to infest the deer, and leads to over-grazing and over -browsing of areas, and finally to starvation. There is also the issue of Road Traffic Accidents, which are on the increase in this area. Having a deer run out in front of you is pretty scary and hitting one is even worse. So whilst it is not every-bodies cup of tea, we are providing a much needed service to the deer and landowners.
If you want to know more about implementing a Deer Management Plan on your estate, or have a general deer problem on your land or garden, contact Rapid Pest Control now for a confidential survey of your deer problem and how we can solve it for you. We are, of course, fully insured, members of the British Deer Society and qualified Deer Stalkers with years of experience behind us.