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Information on the British Deer Society (BDS) Highlands branch including events, contacts, and news.

Branch Area and committee


ChairmanStewart Blair
Vice-Chair and SecretaryAndy


Andrew Yool, Alistair Monkman, James May, Derek Newlands, Gerard Western, Steve Connolly, Jen Ross. 

Postcode Area
HS Western Isles
IV Inverness
KW Kirkwall
PA Paisley
PH19 – PH50 Perth
ZE Lerwick




9th July 2023

Cawdor Range – practice

20th August 2023

Cawdor Range – practice

26th August 2023

Scottish Interbranch Shoot, Blair Athol

10th September 2023

Dunrobin Challenge Cup competition

29th October 2023

Cawdor Range – practice

4th November 2023

Winter Competition

Please see below for more details in the news section.


No upcoming events, please check back soon.



Remaining Range Days

Cawdor Rifle and Gun Club (CRGC) kindly arranged 9 days this season when BDS members (and guests by arrangement) may use the Range to zero their rifles and practice marksmanship in safe surroundings to foster greater competence in accurate, reliable, humane deer management, within their personal limitations and those of their rifle and chosen ammunition. 

The Range is located at Glengeoullie 11/2 miles SE of Cawdor Castle (O.S. map ref: NH 857 477).  It provides firing points at 100, 200 and 300 yards and only fullbore stalking rifles with deer-legal calibre / bullet weight and muzzle velocity not exceeding 1,000 m/s (3,275 fps) & a maximum muzzle energy of 4,500J (3,319 ft/lbs) may be used.

The use of stalking aids to improve accuracy from a variety of shooting positions under field conditions is encouraged, such as bipods, shooting sticks and normal stalking equipment.

Basic zeroing targets, BDS black deer silhouette targets, of approximately roe deer size, with no visible aiming mark, (as used for the DSC-1 assessment and SIBS competitions) are available and a number of more realistic Red, Sika and Roe Deer targets have been developed this season too. 

The programme of the remaining range days this season is as follows:

July 9th                      Sunday          practice & team selection for SIBS

August 20th              Sunday          practice & team selection for SIBS

August 26th             Saturday      Scottish Interbranch Shoot, Blair Athol

September 10th       Sunday          Dunrobin Challenge Cup competition

October 29th             Sunday          practice

November 4th         Saturday       Winter Competition

Shooting starts promptly at 10.00 am; range preparation is 8.45 – 9.45 am

The range is opened up well in advance by a BDS/NRA RCO/RSO who will need at least 4 volunteers to help set up flags, targets, etc. and a similar number need to stay behind after shooting is over to help tidy up and close down the range.

For the last three years, a small charge has been payable by all shooters who attend the Range Days: £5 for Practice days and £10 for Competitions, to help defray the costs of running the Range.  Before anyone is allowed to shoot they must produce their BDS membership card, Firearm Certificate and sign the Range Register.  The RCO/RSO in charge will then read out a Safety Brief with which all firers must comply.

It would also be helpful if rifles wishing to attend could inform us so that we have an idea of how many targets etc to prepare beforehand and to enable me to circulate full details, Rules and Orders of Fire for upcoming shoots and competitions.

BDS Highland Senior RSO, James Vestey:

Preferential Rates for BDS Members

Altyre Estate are pleased to announce preferential rates for BDS members who wish to stalk Scottish woodland roe deer at Altyre Estate in Moray. Primarily aimed at those wishing to undertake DSC2 training and/or assessment, the estate can offer accompanied stalks for cull roebucks and does with the estate stalker (Approved Witness) at a flat rate of £85 inc VAT per outing.

For more details, please contact the Altyre Estate office directly on 01309 672265 or by email at

young red deer in Scotland by grafxart

Stay in touch

If your contact information has changed please make sure to let us know.  To update your details simply email or call 01425 655434.


Surveillance for coronaviruses in wildlife

Surveillance for Coronaviruses in Wildlife

The British Deer Society is asking its members and supporters to assist with a surveillance study looking into coronaviruses in wildlife. This study aims to support the development of diagnostic tests, aid future surveillance, and improve preparedness for future coronavirus outbreaks.

Red Deer Stags at Sunset in Scotland By Mark Connelly

BDS CEO Goes Live On TalkTV To Promote Fact-led Deer Management

David Mcauley, British Deer Society (BDS) CEO went live on TalkTV and Radio at the weekend to promote the importance of having more fact-led approaches in deer management, less sensationalism in the media around total UK deer numbers and to speak up for deer welfare.

Deer Management in the UK: Sustainability Verses Eradication

Deer Management in the UK: Sustainability Verses Eradication

Recently, we received a heartfelt letter from a dedicated member of the British Deer Society (BDS), a seasoned deer stalker with 30 years of experience who was dismayed by the indiscriminate and unsustainable shooting of roe deer around his management areas. His words shed light on the evolving challenges faced by conscientious deer managers who prioritise legal and humane practices in an environment where not all shooters share the same values.

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