There are estimates suggesting that there are more than750,000deer in Scotland, and that these numbers are increasing.
There are essentially four species of wild deer that are established here in Scotland. Two of them are native species, roe deer and red deer, and two species were introduced, sika and fallow deer.
The native red and roe deer are by far the most common but there are substantial numbers of all deer and recent population estimates for Scotland for each of the species suggests;
Red deer: between 360,000-400,000,
Roe deer 200,000-350,000 ,
Sika deer 25,000,
Fallow deer 2,000.
These estimates have been agreed with the Scottish Parliament.
Hunting for wild deer
Wild deer, particularly red deer, are to be found on open hills and they can wander, and range, freely over large areas. There are actually no effective natural predators of deer in Scotland, and so it falls to man to control numbers and manage populations, principally because if deer numbers are not controlled their expansion will fill the capacity of the land they inhabit effecting the future of the species and creating significant damage to the environment in which they live.
The most common management of wild deer populations are in the forms of hunting or “stalking” by shooting specific deer with high velocity rifles, or fencing large areas of land to either to keep the deer in, or, keep them out. The majority of female deer are culled by professional stalkers. Around 100,000 deer are culled each year in Scotland. Since the mid-1990s the number of deer culled each year has remained relatively constant. Deer fencing is used widely to manage deer densities and movements. As well as impacting on deer movements fencing can impact on wider habitat management as well as the landscape and public access, and so it is not always the best option in the control of populations.
Male deer are prized as trophy animals for their antlers by hunters, and the stalking of male deer is by far the most preferred. The culling of other deer, and in particular female deer has been pursued to a lesser extent, but this is a growing market within the country sports field, and stalking generally is on the increase, and gaining popularity amongst country sports enthusiasts. Here at MacIntyre & Thomson we can provide some good stalking amongst the most stunning surroundings, and for those wishing to try their hand at this most fabulous and ecologically friendly sport, you need to contact us for availability and details.
The skilful and almost solitary pursuit of deer by stalking is an old and traditional country sport and is full of so many rewarding aspects to the experience. It is little wonder that in percentage terms this is amongst the growth area of field sports. Those who have been stalking before will return time after time, and the sport attracts visitors back to Scotland year after year to stalk, often over the same ground, with which they then become familiar. It is for this reason that old established stalking areas, and traditional estates, can be hard for the newcomer to access, and a great reason for using the services of MacIntyre & Thomson to get you to the sport that you require.