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Then you’ve come to the right place! 

Our mission is to educate and inspire everyone about deer in their environment.

To help fulfil that mission, we offer a unique, free educational service, Ask The BDS, where you can ask one of our deer experts anything you’d like to know about deer. We mainly focus on UK deer, but if you do have a question about deer in the rest of the world, our experts will try to help you as best they can too! 


Although we love people getting in touch with us, the advice you’re looking for may already be available on our website. Below you can find answers to some of the most common queries we get about deer. 

If you don’t see what you need, or need help to identify a deer, then please go to the Ask A BDS Expert form here and one of our team will get back to you as soon as possible. 


There are 6 species of deer in the UK. 2 species are native – red and roe deer. The remaining 4 species – fallow, sika, muntjac and Chinese water deer are non-native. 

Read more: UK deer species

You can download our free deer identification guides to help you work out which of the 6 UK deer species you saw.

Alternatively, you can ask one of our experts for help. 

The larger UK deer species (red, sika and fallow) tend to prefer grazing on grasses, herbs and dwarf shrubs like heather. They will also browse on other growth. When food is scarce they may eat woody shrubs, tree shoots and even bark.

The smaller UK deer species (roe, muntjac and water deer) are more likely to browse on a wider variety of vegetation including shrubs, tree shoots and leaves, and garden plants. Water deer also graze widely on young grasses, sedges and rushes.

Learn more: View our UK deer species pages

Depending on the species, a young deer can be called a fawn, a kid or a calf.

Learn more: Deer species & naming

Depending on the species, a female deer is called either a hind or a doe.

Learn more: Deer species & naming

Depending on the species, a male deer is called either a stag or a buck.

Learn more: Deer species & naming

Herd is the usual term for a group of deer. 

Deer are unique in being the only animals to produce antlers. Horns are grown by ruminant animals such as goats, sheep, cows and antelope.

Would you like to know more? Read: Antlers vs horns.

Don’t see an answer to your question about deer?


Did you know, your deer question could end up featuring on the BDS Blog? Here are some of the topics that have already been featured and answered in detail by one of our deer experts, Charles Smith-Jones.

deer and roads

Ask BDS – What Can I Do About Deer Near Busy Roads

The British Deer Society often receive enquiries from concerned people who have busy roads and deer populations close to their homes and wonder if there is anything that they can do to help reduce the chances of a deer/vehicle collision.

Injured deer - ask BDS

Ask BDS – Injured Deer

It’s heartbreaking to see a deer in need of help, but we can all make a difference. The British Deer Society is often contacted by concerned members of the public who have encountered a deer that they consider to be injured or sick and wonder what can be done to assist it.

Deer in urban areas

Deer in Urban Areas

Deer are regularly reported in urban gardens or housing estates and members of the public often wonder if there is any action that they ought take.
In most cases there is no need to do anything. The species most regularly encountered in built up areas tend to be roe or muntjac. Both are small and generally solitary, and are often content to live in close proximity to humans.

ethical wild venison

Ask BDS – How Ethical is Wild Venison?

The BDS is often approached by members of the public who wish to know more about the wild venison that they eat.  Most appreciate that venison is a sustainable product that comes from necessary deer control measures.  In particular, though, they may wonder whether there are alternatives to culling.  They also want to be reassured that venison has been sourced humanely and with proper respect for the deer.

roe doe eating flowers in a garden By mountainpix

Ask BDS – Can I Feed Deer in My Garden?

Although deer are not always welcome visitors to the garden, the BDS is often asked if food can be put out for them. In fact there is really no need to feed wild deer as they can usually find all that they need naturally, even during dry conditions.

baby deer

Ask BDS – Baby Deer

Most of the UK’s deer species have regular birthing seasons between May and July. Muntjac are the only exception and their fawns might be encountered at any time of year. The British Deer Society regularly receives enquiries from members of the public who have found a baby deer that they believe has been ‘abandoned’ by its mother and are wondering what they should do.

feeding deer

Ask BDS – Fencing and Muntjac

The British Deer Society receives regular queries from gardeners who are anxious to exclude deer, and particularly muntjac, from their vegetable patches and other places containing delicate or valuable plants.

Deer and land development

Ask BDS – Deer and land development

The British Deer Society often receives enquiries from concerned local residents regarding new housing, solar farms or other developments on land where they regularly see deer.


Stephen Stares
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"Thank you so much for your very comprehensive reply which I find fascinating."
Vic Dickson
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"Thank you for such a prompt response!"
Lily Clarke
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"I really appreciate this, thank you for all your help."
Nichola Loseby
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"We really appreciate all the background information and are relieved to hear the deer is not lost or in danger. "
Andrew Sutcliffe
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"Brilliant, thank you so much for taking the time, and so quickly.. Really, very much appreciated."
Paul Morrissey
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"Charles Thanks for your valued advice ,its appreciated ."
D Kinsley
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"Thank you Charles for your fantastic feedback very helpful,"
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"Thanks for your very in depth and informative response. I’ll research the links that you’ve provided."
Ailsa Abbatt
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"Thank you for prompt and very helpful reply. I feel more hopeful that our local deer population is not in danger from disease."
Luke Moran
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"Thank you very much for your quick and thorough reply, I found it most enlightening."
Will Hollis
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"I'm messaging you regarding your incredibly helpful information you gave me for my dissertation."


If you have found our free resources about deer in the UK useful then we’d really appreciate your support in helping us keep them free for all! How can you support our work? 

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