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Deer Management


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3 hours ago, shovel leaner said:

Another issue that we have faced is what to do with the shot deer ? During the whole lockdown debacle. I was talking to the game dealer I use and he had 5 tonnes of frozen venison that he couldn’t shift and wouldn’t take another deer , even if I gave it to him . Restaurants , pubs and hotels were his main outlet. Now things have opened up it’s slightly improved,  but  I was talking to someone the other day and I didn’t know this but nearly all the country pubs near me are up for sale and are struggling. They reckon that 70% of pubs are going to go to the wall in the not too distant future. Simply , people have got out of the habit of going out for a meal and drink , and are buying booze in a supermarket and have leaned to cook during lockdown. People will eat  venison if it’s on a menu , but supermarkets aren’t buying it in anything like the volume of the pub trade . I found a guy in Wales who makes burgers and sausage. He was supplying the valley’s BBQs and he gave me some back . But that’s small scale . I don’t know what the answer is but it would be a shame if it went for dog food . 
              I’ll tell you what would help , if the BBC county file , did a proper episode on the problem of deer in this country and encouraged its largely metropolitan viewership to try venison , “ save the countryside , eat venison “ !!! 

The pal that took over my stalking was offered twenty pence a lb , halfway through the season the game dealer didn’t want any .He found a local butcher that started taking some and he started making burgers sausages etc rather than waste it , given he had to continue culling albeit on a reduced scale , he did very well out of the produce , second season the butcher took virtually every beast he shot , given these were mostly head and neck shot and had been hung in the cold room for at least a week so he was getting prime carcasses , he clearly had a clientele for them , and he collected ..This year they have agreed a better rate given the costs involved and he will take all he can get ..so my pals seems very optimistic things will get back somewhere near normal ..

As an aside twenty five odd  years ago I was getting £1 lb in the skin , when I packed up three years ago I was getting £1.20 lb .

the most I ever got was £1.40lb and that was back in 2013 …what I now refer to as the good old days ..😂

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2 hours ago, sussex said:

The pal that took over my stalking was offered twenty pence a lb , halfway through the season the game dealer didn’t want any .He found a local butcher that started taking some and he started making burgers sausages etc rather than waste it , given he had to continue culling albeit on a reduced scale , he did very well out of the produce , second season the butcher took virtually every beast he shot , given these were mostly head and neck shot and had been hung in the cold room for at least a week so he was getting prime carcasses , he clearly had a clientele for them , and he collected ..This year they have agreed a better rate given the costs involved and he will take all he can get ..so my pals seems very optimistic things will get back somewhere near normal ..

As an aside twenty five odd  years ago I was getting £1 lb in the skin , when I packed up three years ago I was getting £1.20 lb .

the most I ever got was £1.40lb and that was back in 2013 …what I now refer to as the good old days ..😂

The Welsh chap who had my Venison , converted his garage into a meat processing place . He had it all properly signed off by the council’s food and hygiene. He used to come up to Gloucestershire in his Dacia estate car and went back over the Severn bridge with 7 fallow in the back , the suspension was almost on the tyres 😂. He does very well out of his sausage and burger enterprise. And I did ok . I had more sausages and burgers than all my family and friends could eat . And I managed to keep on culling. There are ways of getting venison used , we just have to try some different avenues .  

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51 minutes ago, shovel leaner said:

The Welsh chap who had my Venison , converted his garage into a meat processing place . He had it all properly signed off by the council’s food and hygiene. He used to come up to Gloucestershire in his Dacia estate car and went back over the Severn bridge with 7 fallow in the back , the suspension was almost on the tyres 😂. He does very well out of his sausage and burger enterprise. And I did ok . I had more sausages and burgers than all my family and friends could eat . And I managed to keep on culling. There are ways of getting venison used , we just have to try some different avenues .  

I think the fallow and muntjac have had a fairly easy time over the last couple of years , from my pals reports a lot of the surrounding land took next to nothing deer wise and numbers have clearly increased , bit like the time of the foot & mouth outbreak a few years back where the fallow had a fabulous breeding season , down in our part of Sussex the numbers spiralled because nobody could get out , The Ashdown forest was completely out of bounds ,even the road casualty numbers ,which were normally in the hundreds dropped significantly because the deer weren’t under any pressure to move ..

My pal took well over 130 last year but was down because of restrictions , this year on the two estates he would be looking to put at least another 70 on that and by the amount he’s seeing considerably more ..

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I think the situation is past 'management'. If they want the national population culling then they should be encouraging the keen lads to just get out and shoot the f***ing things. The deer population isn't going to genetically wither to nothing because of a few years of ruthlessness.

The hierarchy of stalking are so 'precious' about their deer in this country.

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It is strange, I don't shoot as many deer as some of you but steady, I don't have issues with my landowners, the Deer are seen as "pests"  on all the sites I deal with them.  That almost always means they have a cost negativity to the owners, either tree, grass, fence, animal feed, crop, whatever damage, so there is no love lost!

Anyway, the thought of something along the lines of a DSC being mandatory is disheartening to say the least!!

 

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12 minutes ago, foxdropper said:

The end consumer is the biggest issue facing large scale culling .Sort that and it would be a green light for vast tracts across England where only personal use is shot .

I know lads that would go out on the deer and not come back until the truck was full. It was purely about the money. Absolutely leathering the deer and essentially earning a second ‘full time’ wage off it. They had the access, the kit, and the ‘single mindedness’ to do that though.

Now the demand has gone… they just don’t bother.

”we’re going to legalise night shooting” :laugh: the only lads that think that’ll make a difference are the tweed clad pipe smoking gents of the BDS who probably haven’t bent a rule in their lives. In reality…

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1 minute ago, Born Hunter said:

I know lads that would go out on the deer and not come back until the truck was full. It was purely about the money. Absolutely leathering the deer and essentially earning a second ‘full time’ wage off it. They had the access, the kit, and the ‘single mindedness’ to do that though.

Now the demand has gone… they just don’t bother.

”we’re going to legalise night shooting” :laugh: the only lads that think that’ll make a difference are the tweed clad pipe smoking gents of the BDS who probably haven’t bent a rule in their lives. In reality…

🫢

Are you saying it’s prevalent Born 🤗🤫🤫🤫

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I love my stalking. I go out purely for the fulfilment of it. Being in the countryside, harvesting my own meat with skills that I have learnt through trial and error. Lots of error. The money game doesn’t interest me, I earn just enough to not feel I need to compromise my enjoyment for money. That’s different for everyone and would maybe change for me if I had better access.

On a good day, stalking ‘properly’ with just a rifle and my boots, I’ve managed 10 in 24hrs. Night shooting on good land with the right tackle, I expect double or triple that is doable by a slick team. And for a lot less effort.

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32 minutes ago, Born Hunter said:

I love my stalking. I go out purely for the fulfilment of it. Being in the countryside, harvesting my own meat with skills that I have learnt through trial and error. Lots of error. The money game doesn’t interest me, I earn just enough to not feel I need to compromise my enjoyment for money. That’s different for everyone and would maybe change for me if I had better access.

On a good day, stalking ‘properly’ with just a rifle and my boots, I’ve managed 10 in 24hrs. Night shooting on good land with the right tackle, I expect double or triple that is doable by a slick team. And for a lot less effort.

Was a time when the deer all looked like £40 but with lack of outlets that died a while ago .Nowadays I get more enjoyment from guiding people especially firsts .Was a time when  I went from farm to farm culling as many does as I could but nowadays it’s fine to just watch them and take a cull rather than blitz them .

I do a market garden and it’s zero tolerance there so last ,last ,last light does occur ,often .

I need fallow ground to really get into guiding but still waiting for the opportunity .

Is it roe for you Born ?

 

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32 minutes ago, foxdropper said:

Was a time when the deer all looked like £40 but with lack of outlets that died a while ago .Nowadays I get more enjoyment from guiding people especially firsts .Was a time when  I went from farm to farm culling as many does as I could but nowadays it’s fine to just watch them and take a cull rather than blitz them .

I do a market garden and it’s zero tolerance there so last ,last ,last light does occur ,often .

I need fallow ground to really get into guiding but still waiting for the opportunity .

Is it roe for you Born ?

 

Mix of roe, some fallow with the odd sika. No management really, just cull. Since the money game ended the numbers have noticeably boomed and there’s more with heads cropping up. But I’m not fussy.

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Took a keeper mates lad out for his first deer on the estate. He had a roe and then half hour later dropped one with worth putting on the wall. He was made up. Mounted it for him too. Nice way to thank my mate for all the sport he’s put my way.

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2 hours ago, Born Hunter said:

I love my stalking. I go out purely for the fulfilment of it. Being in the countryside, harvesting my own meat with skills that I have learnt through trial and error. Lots of error. The money game doesn’t interest me, I earn just enough to not feel I need to compromise my enjoyment for money. That’s different for everyone and would maybe change for me if I had better access.

On a good day, stalking ‘properly’ with just a rifle and my boots, I’ve managed 10 in 24hrs. Night shooting on good land with the right tackle, I expect double or triple that is doable by a slick team. And for a lot less effort.

The fallow get very very wary when put under to much pressure , it wouldn’t take to many nights for them to spook at the first sight or sound of people or machines .While some night shooting would work you risk the chance of moving them to places you can’t get at them at all .By the time the season was half done we could see the pattern developing where they new where they were safe and stayed there .We could often see 350 plus laying out all day in safe fields and only in the last couple did we get access that allowed us to move them around .What ever the law says you are going to have people that will not let you or any one else on there land to shoot deer first or last .
As I’ve said before we have had and still got antis that own property around our permissions ,  normally horse types , that see no problem with fifty plus deer laying out in there horse paddocks all day .They don’t give a jot they are laying waste to some  farmers crop all night .Quite how you get round it I’m not sure ..but being out lamping them might well work against us ..

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As another tool though it can only help surely .We have a huge tract of woodland here owned by a German where the fallow retreat to daylight and cannot be touched .They raid farmland at night but are gone by daylight .

With NV I reckon they would stand long enough for several shots to be taken .

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