Home / Information & Advice / Resources / Deer Open Season Deer Open SeasonThis page shows the open seasons for deer across the UK are when deer may be taken by legal means. Photo by: Sandra StandbridgeVIEW OPEN SEASON DATES ABOUT DEER OPEN SEASON In the UK deer seasons have been set up to give our wild deer protection during key times and support the development of sustainable and healthy populations. The BDS has since its inception been actively involved in bring in and ensuring the continuation of these legally protected seasons.Currently, the law provides protection to male and female deer during key times in relation to the different species breeding and growth cycles. This is why different species and sexes will have different open seasons when hunting can take place.There are, however, some exceptions for example muntjac are classed as an invasive species and as such have no closed season and can be shot all year round. The law also allows sick or injured deer to be humanely shot out of season. There are also occasions when a special licence can be obtained to manage deer numbers out of season. The table below gives the open season dates for each UK deer species by sex and location as the law differs in Scotland to the rest of the UK.The law as it relates to deer may be subject to change, and all information provided is for guidance only.*PLEASE NOTE: The Scottish Parliament voted on Government proposals to abolish the season for male deer in Scotland. Despite having been rejected by the Rural Affairs and Islands Committee, the Parliament voted to accept the Government proposal. This means that from 21st October 2023, there will be no close season for male deer of any species in Scotland. The table below shows current Open Seasons, which may be subject to legislative change. Species Sex Open Season England, Wales & N Ireland Open Season Scotland * Red/ Sika hybrids Male 1 August – 30 April No Close Season Female 1 November – 31 March 21 October – 15 February Fallow deer Male 1 August – 30 April No Close Season Female 1 November – 31 March 21 October – 15 February Roe deer Male 1 April – 31 October No Close Season Female 1 November – 31 March 21 October – 31 March Chinese water deer Male & Female 1 November – 31 March Not present so no close season Muntjac deer Male & Female No Close Season No Close Season Notes:Seasons for red and sika includes each separate species and hybridsBecause it is so difficult to differentiate between male and female Chinese water deer in the field, due to this species not carrying antlers and having no other readily distinguishing features between the sexes, the open and closed seasons for them are the same. The muntjac, on account of having no fixed times of year for breeding, cannot be afforded the deliberate protection of a closed season although it is recommended that when culling female muntjac, only immature or heavily pregnant does are selected to avoid leaving dependent young.Roe and water deer are not present in Northern Ireland.Time of dayDeer may normally only be shot between one hour before sunrise and an hour after sunset wherever you may be in the United Kingdom. Night shooting requires a license from one of the national Statutory Bodies. Good reason will need to be proven before the grant of one will be considered: this will usually relate to public health, public safety, conserving the natural heritage or preventing serious damage to property.