Home / News & Events / Latest News Latest newsGet the latest from the British Deer Society Photo by: GiedriiusFIND OUT MORE ALL THE LATEST NEWS Updates on the work of the British Deer Society including news, campaigns, research, events and fundraising. Also reports on current news stories related to deer and deer management. LATEST NEWS ARTICLES 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. 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 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. The Crossroads of Wild Venison Production: Challenges as December 2023 Approaches As we approach the end of 2023, wild venison production is encountering challenges that demand our attention. Game dealers are currently offering between 50p and one pound per kilogram for deer carcasses, and reports suggest that some may not accept carcasses in December. Let’s dive into some key insights shared by Nick Rout, Head of Education and Training at the BDS, and a manager of deer in East Anglia. Fact or fiction? UK deer numbers are at their highest levels in 1000 years – at around 2 million. Since 2022 a story of 2 million deer and soaring deer populations in the UK has slowly been repeated (and repeated) – but is it the truth? BDS Diamond Charity Auction Our Diamond Charity Fundraising Auction is now live. 2023 marks the 60th, or Diamond Anniversary of the British Deer Society. To celebrate, we’re holding a special fundraising event in the form of a silent online auction. By taking part in the auction you’ll be helping raise critical funds to continue our work to drive forward our mission Visit To Creag Meagaidh In late October 2023, members of the BDS Highland Branch visited the Creag Meagaidh National Nature Reserve (NNR), a 4,000-hectare area managed by NatureScot, located on the north shore of Loch Laggan in Scotland. Inspiring Young Minds to Embrace and Cherish the Environment Imagine the heartwarming sight of over 500 primary school children from Leeds and the surrounding areas, gathering at Ledston Estate for a three-day outdoor learning event. Despite facing challenging weather conditions, these young minds radiated enthusiasm and resilience. Through a collaborative effort with Countryside Learning and partners, the British Deer Society (BDS) was delighted to support this opportunity, with a shared commitment to nurturing an enduring appreciation for the environment in the generations to come. Removal of Male Deer Seasons – Response to BDS Opinion Survey “Male deer numbers have a lesser impact on overall population growth as it is of course the females that actually produce more deer. Allowing male deer of the larger species to be shot during the female deer open season has historically distracted efforts to control the latter and curb their breeding potential.” Ask BDS – Watching Deer During the Rut Autumn is rutting time for many deer species, and you may be considering going out to see the action for yourself. Before you do, though, take a moment to consider the safety of yourself and those around you. Digital Deer Autumn 2023 – OUT NOW Check out Digital Deer’s Autumn 2023 issue! It’s full of deer news, information, and articles to pique the curiosity of all deer lovers. We’ve got it all, from BDS Distribution Survey results to a deer management project in Scotland, plus Richard Almond’s story of a Scottish Venator. Don’t miss out on Digital Deer Autumn 2023 Dr Andrew Huberman promotes eating wild venison Renowned neuroscientist Dr Andrew Huberman, and creator of top 10 global podcast, The Huberman Lab, promotes the benefits of eating wild venison, stating “I particularly like ground venison…” Response To Scottish Deer Management Changes This week 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. Updated Captive Deer Survey Now Available The updated BDS captive deer survey is now available to the public. This spreadsheet lists results for locations that offer public access including name, address, species present and website, sorted by town/county. Are Deer the Villains When Tackling Climate Change? If you read some of the recent press and media articles about deer, you will probably spot a reoccurring theme that paints deer in the UK as a huge barrier to efforts to combat climate change. Readers are regularly exposed to emotive statements about explosive deer population numbers, backed up by sweeping statements that all too often implicate deer as the villains. Is this fair or even true? Where To Watch Out For Deer When Driving This Autumn Autumn brings a spike in deer vehicle collisions across the UK. Learning where to you need to watch our for deer on the roads in your area can help reduce your risk of a collision. The British Deer Society Deer Survey 2023 the BDS is delighted to be able to announce that updated deer distribution maps are now available. Drawing on both historic and new records they were produced for the 2023 revised edition of the Society’s Field Guide to British Deer and offer an updated picture of deer presence across the UK. 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. How Drones Are Helping To Improve Our Knowledge And Management Of Deer Drones are changing the way we are able to count and survey deer. In this article you can learn how drones are helping us improve our knowledge and management of deer across the UK. Ask BDS – How Do I Protect My Garden From Deer We understand why some gardeners are frustrated by the presence of deer in their gardens – we’re here to help! Learn more about preventing and discouraging deer from visiting your garden Dedicated HAD Volunteers There for Deer in Dire Need What is a HAD volunteer? A dedicated, private individual who is prepared to go out of their way, very much at any time of the day or night, to attend to a deer, or to any other animal in dire need, at the roadside or elsewhere. Summer Edition of Digital Deer – OUT NOW The British Deer Society’s online taster magazine Digital Deer is out this week and packed full of deer news, information, and articles to delight all those with a love for deer. BDS Guidance on the Government Open Consultation on Firearms Licensing The following article seeks to provide readers with some guidance on how you may choose to answer each question in the consultation. 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 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. 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. Consultation on Secondary Legislation for Deer in Scotland The British Deer Society was recently asked to comment on the Secondary Legislation for deer in Scotland. Read our response. 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. Staying Safe From Tick-borne Diseases in the UK Ticks can carry several infections and while Lyme disease is more common in the UK, there have also been recently confirmed a case of tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) in England. So, preventing tick bites is the first line of defence. How To Volunteer For Deer With The British Deer Society Do you have a passion for UK deer? Would you love to get involved making a difference for deer? Then get involved today volunteering with the British Deer Society! Here’s how. How Our Volunteers Make A Difference For Deer From sharing our work at shows and events across the country to carrying out data collection for important research, there are many ways our volunteers have helped the work of the British Deer Society. 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. Celebrating Our Volunteers Making A Difference For Deer Without a doubt, the BDS wouldn’t have become the successful and growing charity it is today without the extensive help and time that has been given to us by many dedicated volunteers over the last 60 years. 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. 60 for 60 Charity Auction Help celebrate the 60th anniversary of the British Deer Society by participating in our one-of-a-kind 60 for 60 charity online auction! The British Deer Society Annual Review for 2022 The British Deer Society Annual Review for 2022 gives us a great chance to demonstrate the value of our work and the outstanding commitment of all involved. This is the must have publication for anyone interested in wild deer and the British Deer Society, whether you are a member, a supporter, a potential donor or researcher, this review provides you with a valuable insight into our work. Jam Donuts in the Office, an update from the CEO The first five months of every year is always an extremely busy time for the head office team. The preparation of our annual accounts, writing our annual report, preparing and circulating voting papers and the Spring Deer journal together with organising and running the annual AGM, it is fair to say it’s a busy period. UK Deer Birth Dates Survey Is climate change affecting deer? The British Deer Society is conducting a survey in order to understand how deer might be reacting to changes in their environment. Ask BDS – Deer on the roads The month of May is a peak time for deer-vehicle collisions (DVCs) and the highest risks occur around sunrise, or from sunset until midnight. However, deer can be encountered on our roads throughout the year and at any time of day – if you see one always drive with added caution as there may be others. Spring Edition of Digital Deer – OUT NOW The British Deer Society’s online taster magazine Digital Deer is out this week and packed full of deer news, information, and articles to delight all those with a love for deer. BDS Launches Consultation on Professional Membership The charity is looking to find opportunities to work with and support deer managers and stalkers throughout their career and to also learn from their experiences and insights on deer management. 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. Ask BDS – Is it legal to shoot deer? The British Deer Society is regularly contacted by concerned members of the public who have observed activity related to deer management taking place. While fully appreciating their concerns we recognise that, provided it is carried out with the permission of the landowner or their representative, culling may be conducted provided that a comprehensive range of legal requirements are observed. Tick-borne Encephalitis Detection in England A new risk assessment has been published this week by a multi-agency cross-government committee, highlighting that tick-borne encephalitis is now likely to be present in England. The risk assessment is based on both human cases and the detection of the virus in ticks in several areas of the country and it is important to stress that the risk to the general public in the UK remains very low. A Kind Donation Brings Joy To Children With Learning Difficulties In 2023 an exciting new art trail is coming to Furzey Gardens, Minstead, Lyndhurst, Hampshire. The trail will see over 20 four-foot, artist-decorated, fairy doors displayed in the gardens to thrill visitors of all ages. Selected artists have now been chosen and are working away on bringing their designs to life. Ask BDS – Antlers Not Horns There is often confusion over the difference between antlers and horns, and deer are sometimes incorrectly described as having the latter. BDS Position on Petition to Eradicate Deer from South Uist The British Deer Society has been made aware of a petition from a member of Sealladh na Beinne Moire , to the Board of Sealladh na Beinne Moire, the owner of South Uist Estate, calling for the eradication of deer from the island. Deer Management Beyond Borders Last week I had the privilege to travel to Northern Ireland to meet with a few N.I. and Irish deer organisations where we discussed the deer management and habitat impact work carried out across the whole island of Ireland. I was also updated on the extremely important work carried out with the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) on behalf of deer managers and gun owners. BDS 60th Anniversary February Promotion Spend £60 or more in our online shop and receive a complimentary 60th anniversary BDS pin badge Winter Edition of Digital Deer – OUT NOW The British Deer Society’s online taster magazine Digital Deer is out this week and packed full of deer news, information, and articles to delight all those with a love for deer. Royal Mail Strikes – UPDATE The Communication Workers Union (CWU) has announced it has withdrawn planned rolling strike action dates which were due to take place later this week and next week (2,3,4,8,9 and 10 November). The Memory Tree: remembering our loved ones The Memory Tree: remembering our loved ones The Gamekeepers’ Welfare Trust’s Memory Tree was launched on All Soul’s Day, 2 November 2022. The Memory Tree is an online space dedicated to the remembrance of all those in gamekeeping professions who are no longer with us. Photographing the Deer Rut Full-time wildlife photographer Timothy Lees provides some of his retrospective insights and key safety tips on photographing the autumn deer rut. 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. Forestry Commission’s Deer Best Practice Event There is likely to be significant challenge in the world of deer and deer professionals in the coming years and the speakers were able to offer insight and some solutions to managing effectively in the future. Autumn Edition of Digital Deer – OUT NOW The British Deer Society’s online taster magazine Digital Deer is out this week and packed full of deer news, information, and articles to delight all those with a love for deer. Preventable Suffering – Dog Attacks on Deer At the British Deer Society, we sadly regularly hear reports and receive enquiries related to dog attacks on deer. The BDS urges dog owners to help prevent the indiscriminate chasing of deer and other animals which too often results in an attack by remaining in full control of their dogs at all times. BDS Office to Close for HM The Queen’s State Funeral Monday 19th of September, the date of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s State Funeral, is a national bank holiday. In line with this, the British Deer Society office will be closed. This will allow the team to pay their personal respects to Her Majesty and commemorate Her reign. The office will open as usual 9.00 am Tuesday 20th of September. The Death of Her Majesty The Queen The British Deer Society is deeply saddened by the passing of Her Majesty The Queen. Our thoughts and sincere condolences are with our Patron His Majesty King Charles III and the Royal Family. We are grateful for Her Majesty’s selfless years of service and steadfast dedication to the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth. Royal Mail Strikes The Communication Workers Union (CWU) has called on its members who collect, sort, and deliver parcels and letters to take strike action on 26 and 31 August and the 8 and 9 September 2022. BDS Response to the Defra Consultation on Proposed Deer Management Strategy The British Deer Society (BDS) has reviewed in detail the consultation on proposed deer management published by Defra on the 4th of August 2022. Whilst we welcome the consultation in general terms, and in particular the intent to develop a wider market for venison, we have serious concerns about some of the proposals. Restoring forests in the Cairngorms one burger at a time Cairngorms Connect has launched a new project marketing venison, to share the story of forest expansion in the Cairngorms. Firearms and Mental Health – Awareness and Support Leaflet The Scottish Firearms Licensing Practitioners Group has released a leaflet providing information on mental health support for firearms license holders. Publication of Revised Wild Game Guidance The revised Wild Game Guidance (WGG) has been published on 25th July 2022. Revision of the content post-consultation (working in collaboration with FSA England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Food Standards Scotland), has resulted in a robust review on the WGG for England, Wales and Northern Ireland. What Makes BDS Membership So Different Primarily membership of the British Deer Society is about supporting our vital work which includes research, training and education in all areas related to the UK’s wild deer and their management. Summer Edition of Digital Deer – OUT NOW The British Deer Society’s online taster magazine Digital Deer is out this week and packed full of deer news, information, and articles to delight all those with a love for deer. Platinum Jubilee Congratulations This year Her Majesty The Queen becomes the first ever British Monarch to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee, having acceded to the throne on 6 February 1952 at 25 years of age. The British Deer Society would like to congratulate Her Majesty on reaching this significant milestone and offer our thanks for seventy years of dedicated service to the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth. Steer Clear of Baby Deer! A joint campaign is underway to inform members of the public about the need to give both pregnant or nursing deer and their young plenty of space when out enjoying the countryside. Over the coming weeks, from mid-May to July, people may discover newly-born deer hidden in the grass or undergrowth and might mistakenly assume that they have been abandoned Please do not touch, disturb or move them as usually their mothers will not be far away. Digital Deer Spring 2022 Out Now The new Spring edition of our taster members’ Deer magazine Digital Deer is out now. Packed with deer news, articles and features. Be Tick Aware! The risk of acquiring a tick bite increases during springtime, with peak times from April to June, meaning there is no better time to refresh your precautions and help spread the word on being tick aware. The following guidance from the UK HAS can be used to reduce the chance of acquiring a tick bite. Your BDS Survey Needs Your Voice! Have you added your voice to the “Your BDS Survey”? If not then please make sure you do. The survey is open to members and non-members. It only takes around three minutes to complete. When you do, you will be helping us ensure the BDS reflects what is important to you. Update on the Deer Distribution Survey 2022 The British Deer Society survey of deer species world normally be undertaken every five years but had been delayed due to the pandemic. The survey is the only one of its kind to look at the distribution of our six deer species across the UK and compare the latest results against previous records of distribution. This provides vital information on the changing ranges of our deer populations. Facing the Future – BDS in 2022 The past two years have been extremely challenging. Throughout the pandemic, The British Deer Society (BDS) team has worked hard and been there for our members, the deer sector and the wider public. This has been a challenge but in a time of uncertainty, reduced income and rising inflation, we controlled our costs and delivered exceptional services and support. FSS Wild Game Guide The Wild Game Guide (WGG) provides guidance for the Scottish wild game food sector, as well as enforcement officers, on the food hygiene legal requirements which apply to the hunting, processing and supply of wild game into the food chain. Eat Venison – it’s Good for You and the Planet! Wild sourced UK Venison is a highly sustainable choice. In the UK we have thriving deer populations living in the wild that due to having no natural predators need to be managed to ensure they stay healthy and are kept in balance with their environment. Warning of an increased risk of deer collisions as clocks go back National Highways and the British Deer Society are warning drivers to be extra vigilant for deer on or near roads after the clocks go back this weekend. There is a substantial increase in deer vehicle collisions from October to December. Poorer driving conditions and fewer hours of daylight, coupled with the annual breeding season (the rut) for red, sika & fallow deer make this a high-risk time of year. Winners of the 2020/21 BDS Members Photographer of the Year Wow, this year’s members photography competition has been amazing. It has been fantastic to see so many members sending in entries, which has made the judging so difficult this year. Driving Deer Aware – Top Tips To Help Avoid a Collision We are now in one of the peak periods for deer vehicle collisions not only in the UK but across the northern hemisphere. A combination of factors, not least this time of year is the rutting season for many of our deer species, makes this a particularly high-risk time, from now right through to December. Rural Women – Rhian’s Story Rhian Tyne is a 19-year-old lady deer stalker and BDS youth ambassador. She has a determination and passion for deer management that is truly impressive and a love for the countryside that is infectious. Find out more about her experiences in her story. New Vision For Community Deer Management in Scotland A new vision for deer management in Scotland that will place communities at the centre of efforts to manage deer on publicly owned land. has been unveiled by a partnership of eleven leading deer management stakeholders. Deer Photography Masterclass Award-winning wildlife photographer Jules Cox online deer photography masterclass where he will share his knowledge, tips and tricks for photographing deer. Motorists in Ireland Urged to be Vigilant Motorists urged to be vigilant during deer breeding season as there is often an increased incidence of road traffic accidents involving deer. How Rare Are White Deer? The British Deer Society regularly receives queries about white deer and how rare they might be. Can You Help Operation Wingspan? Operation Wingspan: A police Scotland initiative to detect and deter wildlife crime. Reminder About Watching Deer Safely Watching deer exhibit natural behaviour in the wild is a wonderful and rewarding experience. However, it is important to remember that they are wild animals and not pets. Deer Should Not Be Classed As Pests We are concerned by the repeated use of the term ‘pest’ in reference to deer. It is an unacceptable and insensitive term to describe iconic mammals which demand intelligent and humane management. Advice on Lead-Free Ammunition Many stalkers who shoot higher numbers of deer and rely on an outlet for carcases have just three months to source and test a viable lead-free alternative, The British Deer Society Response to the Scottish Government Report The BDS is concerned over several aspects of the Scottish Government’s response to the Deer Working Group’s recommendations regarding the management of wild deer. Statement from deer and countryside groups in Scotland on the Scottish Government’s response to the Deer Working Group Report The BDS is concerned over several aspects of the Scottish Government’s response to the Deer Working Group’s recommendations regarding the management of wild deer. NGDA: Statement on Lead free Ammunition At the National Game Dealers Association AGM members voted to commit to sourcing all Game from lead-free supply chains from 1st July 2022. BDS Chair Standing Down in May The Chairman of The British Deer Society, Professor Rory Putman, has informed the Board of Trustees that he intends to stand down in May. BDS (Sales & Services) Ltd Recreational Deerstalkers Field Sports Liability Insurance The British Deer Society has taken the decision to discontinue offering its BDS RD Field Sports Public Liability insurance package. Changes to DSC1 and DSC2 Information has recently been shared relating to changes to DSC1 and DSC2 made by Deer Management Qualifications (DMQ).. These changes come into effect on April the 1st. Relaxation of Covid-19 Restrictions Due to the planned relaxation of Covid-19 restrictions, the BDS will from March the 8th be resuming delivery of DSC1 and Deer Management Courses. Find out more. New Video – How to Complete a Habitat Impact Assessment The Farm Advisory Service has produced a great new video detailing How to Complete a Habitat Impact Assessment. In the video Conservation Consultant, Helen Bibby, and Professor Rory Putman, Chair of the British Deer Society & visiting Professor at the University of Glasgow, take you through all the key steps on how to undertake a Habitat Impact Assessment. WEBINAR: Mental Health and well being for all Our next webinar aims to offer some practical help, tips, links and advice as we pass through this difficult Covid-19 Lockdown period. We wish to highlight where help and support can be found. We all need to work together to help manage these new challenges. Winter Deer Magazine and Digital Deer – Out Now! The winter edition of Deer is out now and available to buy from our shop. Features include: • For deer and for people – Interview with BDS CEO David McAuley • The times they are a changing – David Dixon casts new light on the fallow rut Lockdown and Covid Guidance for Deer Management No matter where you live in the UK you will currently be under some level of lockdown restrictions, the BDS want to continue to support members and those involved in deer management to remain safe and to work within the Government and Devolved Administrations guidance. Don’t End 2020 With A Deer Vehicle Collision! It has been a challenging year, but as we approach the end of 2020, Highways England and The British Deer Society are urging drivers not to close the year with a deer vehicle collision. Webinar: Venison A Christmas Celebration An expert venison cooking demonstration from the highly talented Simon Crockford, Executive Chef at the Celtic Collection. Webinar: Deer on the Roads View our recent webinar exploring the topic of deer on our roads with updates on the current situation and how to stay safe. Please Send Us Your Deer-Vehicle Collision Reports We urge everyone if you are aware of a DVC to please report it to BDS either using our Deer App or by emailing email@example.com with the location and deer species if known. BDS Range Activities and Covid-19 Guidance is compiled from the latest advice provided to enable the writing of a range activity Risk Assessment managed by the British Deer Society (BDS) branches in a Covid-19 environment. Advice to Deer Managers in Scotland – 5 June 2020 The British Deer Society (BDS) Scottish Office has been working hard to obtain clarification on how the Stage One Unlock Guidance related to deer management in Scotland. BDS is Recruiting: New Chief Executive Role The British Deer Society is an incorporated charity, funded by membership, a trading subsidiary and philanthropic contributions. Thank You to Our BDS Volunteers This National Volunteers Week the BDS would like to take the opportunity to say a massive thank you to all of our Members who support the Society in so many ways; it couldn’t function without you. BDS Supports Royal Parks in Protecting Deer Richmond and Bushy parks are wonderful places to visit and much loved by the many people that use them. In these uncertain times, it is understandable that the public wants to visit for some much-needed exercise and relaxation. High Risk of Wildfires in the UK! Currently, much of England has a high to very high risk of wildfires according to The Met Office’s Fire Severity Index (FSI). Although some regions may have experienced rain over the bank holiday weekend the risk still remains high. Low levels of rainfall have left the countryside unusually dry and recent weeks have already seen some Deer Welfare – May and June Key deer welfare areas for May and June Deer on the Roads During the lockdown, our deer ventured out onto the road more than ever and now that the traffic is starting to return we are hearing of more and more deer-vehicle collisions. In addition, this time of year often sees a peak in DVCs as COVID-19: BDS Advice to Deer Stalkers Further to the Prime Minister’s statement on Sunday 10 May 2020, and the more detailed COVID-19 Recovery Strategy published today, the British Deer Society interprets the current situation as follows: COVID-19: Advice for stalking visitors to the UK The British Deer Society has received enquiries concerning deer stalking visits from overseas, some of which have stemmed from misunderstandings caused by inaccurate or speculative information published elsewhere. NEW Product Review: Arksjo folding lock knife My first impression on opening the box containing the Arksjo folding lock knife from Outdoor Classic was a very good one. BDS Survey of Deer Distribution and Abundance 2020 First, my personal thanks for all those who agreed to help with this survey, which is designed to offer us a better resolution of the distribution and regional abundance of deer within the UK, something we urgently need if we are to advise Government and other Agencies on future management. Stalking During the Current Covid-19 Government Restrictions There has been a great deal of speculation as to whether deerstalking is an acceptable activity in the current situation. The government has given clear instructions that people must stay at home and avoid all non-essential travel. Covid 19 and BDS update It was impossible just a few weeks ago to have imagined the extraordinary times we are now in. As a charity and as a company, we are taking each day as it comes whilst also making the best decisions we can to prioritise the health and safety of our staff, volunteers, public and our business. Tick-borne Encephalitis Virus: More Samples Please Tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV) was detected in the UK for the first time in 2019. Many BDS members had a vital role in this discovery through their participation in our 2018-19 deer serosurveillance study investigating the presence of tick-borne viruses in the UK which resulted in this finding Forestry Commission’s New Deer Management Team Following the decision to take deer management work in house from April 2020, the Forestry Commission has appointed Alastair Boston, Jamie Cordery and David Hooton to the Deer Officer posts. BDS Response to the Deer Working Group Report and Recommendations The Trustee Directors [the Board] of the British Deer Society and its Scottish Area Council commend the Deer Working Group on their detailed report which is in the main well-presented and attempts a proper and comprehensive review of the published literature relevant to each of the topics considered Call for More Volunteers – BDS Survey of Deer Abundance We have received a great response to this year’s new survey of deer abundance, however, we still need more volunteers. As previously reported, this will be our most comprehensive deer survey ever taken and to ensure success we need as many people as possible to get involved! BDS Spring Courses Many of our Spring 2020 courses are now fully booked, but we still have a few places available on the following upcoming courses. Keep Sending in Your Sightings While not everyone may be able to assist with our deer abundance survey there is one easy way we can all get involved in building up a better picture of deer distribution in the UK, by using the BDS deer app to regularly report deer sightings. BDS Survey of Deer Distribution & Abundance Every five years the BDS conducts a survey of deer distribution across the United Kingdom. Deer Management in Scotland Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) has published reports on assessing progress in deer management in Scotland, which has been prepared for the Scottish Government. Deer Winter 2019/20 Edition – Out Now The latest edition of Deer, The Journal of The British Deer Society is out now. Muntjac Symposium – Initiating Collaborative Working The one-day muntjac symposium organised by the British Deer Society working in partnership with The Woodland Trust and sponsored by Galbraith was a resounding success. BDS Members and Branch Photographic Competitions 2019/20 For all our members who are keen wildlife photographers, a reminder that this year’s current members competition will be closing at the end of March 2020. Changes to Firearms Law Members should be aware that new measures regarding firearms and deactivated firearms have become effective from 12 December 2019. Deer Faecal Sampling for Postgrad Project A Bristol University Science Student is asking South West and West BDS branch members for help with a project, Sam says: Deer Working Group Report The Group was appointed as an independent working group to review the existing statutory and non-statutory arrangements for the management of wild deer in Scotland, taking account of the position with each of the four species of wild deer in Scotland and the varying circumstances across Scotland.